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Doctor insights on: Cough Bacterial Or Viral

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Had cold: fever, sinus pressure, headache, runny nose. Now still coughing for 1.5 months w mucous. Viral or bacterial infect? Need antibiotics? Which?

Had cold: fever, sinus pressure, headache, runny nose. Now still coughing for 1.5 months w mucous. Viral or bacterial infect? Need antibiotics? Which?

See your doc: A lingering cough after an urti can mean a sinus infection or reactive airways, such as asthma. You need to see your doctor to determine what the problem is. An antibiotic should help if there is a sinus infection but will not help if it is asthma.

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,562 Doctors shared insights

Cough (Definition)

The cough reflex is a protective mechanism that uses muscles in your throat and chest to expel mucous and saliva that may contain pathogens that would otherwise possibly be inhaled via aerosol or to expel pathogens infecting the throat and respiratory system. Cough benefits the host by reducing load and benefits the pathogen which may then spread via aerosol. ...Read more


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How can I tell if a productive cough is viral or bacterial? Signs?

How can I tell if a productive cough is viral or bacterial? Signs?

Culture: The only way to tell for sure is by culture of your blood or phlegm and even that is less than perfect.

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Wat harm a steroid nebulization cause if cause of cough and fever cant be identified whether viral or bacterial?

Wat harm a steroid nebulization cause if cause of cough and fever cant be identified whether viral or bacterial?

Hmm: Steroids reduce your immune system and can cause more infections, yeast bacteria. I would get your child checked if there is concern for using a steroid in a nebulizer chamber.

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12 y/o boy t: up to 103 x 3 days. T:> in the pm on day 3. H.A., nasal congestion, chest cough is it viral? Or should he be seen to r/o bacterial?

Flu or strep: He should be seen-- he may have strep which needs treatment. He could also have the flu which is not always treated. He could also have pneumonia. Have him seen today or tomrorrow.

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29yo. Woke up yesterday with a cough produces smll amt of phlegm high fever up to 103.7- no runny nose, sore legs. Viral? Bacterial? What could it be?

29yo. Woke up yesterday with a cough produces smll amt of phlegm high fever up to 103.7- no runny nose, sore legs. Viral? Bacterial? What could it be?

Flu?: As there is a flu epidemic going on, the best bet would be flu. See your doctor to get you an anti-flu medication if the symptoms have been present for less than 48 hrs.

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Coughing (sounds dry?) For about 5 months now. Age 18, white phlegm turning green past few days, bacterial/viral? Cancer? (rarely smoke)

Coughing (sounds dry?) For about 5 months now. Age 18, white phlegm turning green past few days, bacterial/viral? Cancer? (rarely smoke)

Need more info: It is not likely to be cancer. However, it is not feasible to provide a meaningful opinion without further history, physical examination, and may imaging and lab tests. Cough for five months warrants seeing your doctor.

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Coughing up mucus from lungs. Its yellowish green and it tastes horrible. Does that mean it's bacterial or viral?

Coughing up mucus from lungs. Its yellowish green and it tastes horrible. Does that mean it's bacterial or viral?

Productive cough: We used to think that colored mucus was a sure sign of a bacterial infection, but that is not always the case. Often, discolored mucus may be draining from the sinuses vs the lungs. Get an evaluation if this persists.

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Coughing up thick clear mucus with white specks for a couple weeks also gave either a stuffy or runny nose with it. Is this viral bacterial or allergy?

Coughing up thick clear mucus with white specks for a couple weeks also gave either a stuffy or runny nose with it. Is this viral bacterial or allergy?

Hard to say: This is hard to differentiate elegy versus bacterial versus viral on the appearance of the mucus. Usually with infection the mucus can be green, red, or have blood on it, this is best discussed with your physician to help clarify which of these it may be or if it's something else. There are other lung problems that we might consider beyond the three you describe

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Sore throat coughing nasal drip normal temp, no allegerys, for 6 days viral or bacteral? 61 years slighty high BP no serious health probs

Sore throat coughing nasal drip normal temp, no allegerys, for 6 days viral or bacteral? 61 years slighty high BP no serious health probs

Sounds allergy or vi: If you don't have a fever greater than 100.4, no green or yellow productive cough then likely viral, or could be allergy-mediated. Allergies can be tricky - people may think they don't have any allergies but actually might.

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Is bronchitis bacterial or viral?

Is bronchitis bacterial or viral?

Usually viral: Acute bronchitis is usually caused by viruses, typically the same viruses that cause colds and influenza. The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking cigarettes. Air pollution and dust or toxic gases in the environment or workplace also can contribute to the condition. Antibiotics as a whole are overprescribed in bronchitis, though sometimes it is warranted.

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What is measles- viral or bacterial?

Virus: Measles (also called rubeola) is a highly contagious virus that is transmitted via the respiratory route. A person infected with measles can infect others up to 7 days prior to symptoms and up to 3-4 days after the onset of symptoms. You can prevent getting the infection by getting the MMR (mumps, measles, rubella) vaccination.

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What is more severe: bacterial or viral pneumonia?

What is more severe: bacterial or viral pneumonia?

Can be either: Depends on organism, susceptibility to antibiotics and immune system of patient. Adenovirus is one of most virulent viruses often leaving destroyed lung. Other viral infections can be complicated by superimposed bacterial necrotizing pneumonia. Streptococcal and Staphylococcal and others can be very virulent as well

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Difference between viral sinusitis and bacterial sinusitis?

Difference between viral sinusitis and bacterial sinusitis?

Duration: In either type of sinusitis the symptoms are the same. Even 60% of bacterial sinusitis clear without antibiotics. Bacterial infections show in three ways. Most common it is progressive worsening symptoms usually after cold or allergy attack over 10-14 days. Next is the cold that persists over 3-4 weeks not getting better or worse. Least common is severe sudden onset of symptoms with fever.

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What's the difference between bacterial and viral pneumonia?

Predominantly cause: One is produced by bacteria, and usually we find the alveoli (tiny air sacs) filled with inflammatory material showing as consolidation on imaging studies, whereas in viral infection the tissues lining the air spaces are more involved and appears as a reticular pattern on imaging. Both can show overlapping pictures.

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How are bacterial pneumonias different from viral pneumonias?

How are bacterial pneumonias different from viral pneumonias?

Difficult: Often very difficult to distinguish. However, bacterial pneumonia is more likely if the patient is very sick.

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Bacteria (Definition)

Are omnipresent single celled organisms which are the both the simplest form of life and the original form of life on earth. The are ...Read more