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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. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,596 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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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Have chills, body pains, cough, dull head ache. Had fever until yesterday (101). Strep test -ve. Flu test -ve. Is this viral? Or bacterial?

Have chills, body pains, cough, dull head ache. Had fever until yesterday (101). Strep test -ve. Flu test -ve. Is this viral? Or bacterial?

Flu: Sounds like flu symptoms. Usually an illness would start as a virus then become bacterial. If this gets worse than you should see a doctor. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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 ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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 ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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What is the difference between bacterial and viral pneumonia?

The germ: Bacterial pneumonias are caused by a germ called bacteria, for the most part they can be treated with antibiotics. Viruses cause similar pneumonias, since viruses are biologically very different (they live and reproduce by invading a normal cell and incorporating into the cells dna for example) antibiotics do not work, with rare exceptions. (like flu)
symptoms of both are similar though. ...Read more

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How do we know if the influenza is viral or bacterial? Thank you.

How do we know if the influenza is viral or bacterial? Thank you.

Influenza is a virus: But a lot of people call colds and other respiratory illnesses 'the flu' or 'influenza.' real influenza is a virus, typically a nasty one, with very sudden onset, fever, headache, sore throat, cough and other symptoms.
The only way to really know is to be tested by your health care provider. ...Read more

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How are viral and bacterial diseases distinguished from each other?

How are viral and bacterial diseases distinguished from each other?

See details: Viral diseases are caused by viruses and bacterial disease are caused by bacteria. There are innumerable diseases that fall into each category. ...Read more

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What else besides bacterial or viral conjuctivitis can cause severe light sensivitity in a small child?

What else besides bacterial or viral conjuctivitis can cause severe light sensivitity in a small child?

Many things: There can be problems in the retina (back of the eye), they can have central nervous system issues like meningitis, and other issues. This is something which should prompt you to see a pediatrician. ...Read more

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I've read that the majority of sinusitis is viral in nature. What differentiates it from the bacterial kind? How long does the viral kind last?

I've read that the majority of sinusitis is viral in nature. What differentiates it from the bacterial kind? How long does the viral kind last?

Great question!: The only difference we have been able to show is the length of time of symptoms. If its anything less than 7-10 days then most likely it's a viral infection. 10 days or more -> bacterial infection. Of course there are exception but this serves a general guideline for us to follow. ...Read more

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Is cancer viral or bacterial?

Is cancer viral or bacterial?

Neither: Cancer can be caused by the long-standing inflammation in tissues affected by certain viruses (i.e. Hpv, hcv) and bacteria (i.e. H. Pylori), but cancer itself is not an infectious organism. Learn more about cancer and bacteria here: http://en. Wikipedia. Org/wiki/cancer_bacteria
learn more about cancer and viruses here: http://en. Wikipedia. Org/wiki/cancer_virus. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a bacterial food borne illness and a viral one?

What is the difference between a bacterial food borne illness and a viral one?

Apples/oranges: Bacterial food borne illness often from undercooked, and/or contaminated food. Any uncooked animal product considered contaminated. Any raw, unwashed fruit/veg may be contaminated, so wash them before eating. Wash your hands before cooking, eating. Viral food borne illness includes hepatitis a, found in contaminated sea food, more commonly from food handlers. Other viral inf can cause GI sx. ...Read more

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