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Doctor insights on: How Can Doctors Tell If You Have Viral Or Bacterial Bronchitis

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How can doctors tell if you have viral or bacterial bronchitis?

How can doctors tell if you have viral or bacterial bronchitis?

Cultures&Microscope: Sputun is examined under a microscope and bacteria can be seen. Cultures are allowed to grow few days and pathogens grow and can be identified. Blood tests can show antibodies to various viruses.
Clinical findings can help differentiate in some cases. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
1,216 Doctors shared insights

Bronchitis (Definition)

An inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi. May be caused by either viral or bacterial infections, and is treated with antibiotics, steroids, inhaled bronchodilators, or mucolytics. Bronchitis can ...Read more


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How do doctors know if you have viral or bacterial bronchitis?

How do doctors know if you have viral or bacterial bronchitis?

Severity of sxs: Both viral and bacterial bronchitis have similar symptoms but bacterial bronchitis usually has a higher fever, more congestion, etc but there is considerable overlap. Sometimes a sputum culture can be helpful in indentifying which bacteria are present. If there is only a low grade fever, it is usually viral. ...Read more

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Bacterial or viral bronchitis, how can I tell?

Bacterial or viral bronchitis, how can I tell?

Severity....: Typically, a bacterial bronchitis will give you a higher fever, discolored sputum, malaise, etc. The symptoms with a viral infection tend to be less severe without a fever, clearer sputum, etc. However, there is overlap in symptoms so if you are not sure, you should see your doctor so the infection can be diagnosed and treated. Both can produce a significant and severe cough. ...Read more

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Can doctors usually tell if a person has bacterial bronchitis without an x-ray?

Bronchitis - no xray: Bronchitis is easily diagnosed by listening to the chest. One does not need x-ray to diagnose or confirm it. Nowadays, even simple pneumonias do not need x-rays for diagnosis. ...Read more

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How to tell if bronchitis is viral or bacterial just by a blood test?

How to tell if bronchitis is viral or bacterial just by a blood test?

Blood isn't best: What is best to diagnose would be a sputum culture and respiratory viral panel if you wanted to isolate the causative agent. A good physical exam and history should be able take care of you in most situations though and help to make sure you don't have pneumonia. Bacteria in the blood is a sign of a more serious infection. ...Read more

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How can doctors tell the difference between bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis?

How can doctors tell the difference between bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis?

Lumbar Puncture: Though the history can be similar- the profile on the lumbar puncture usually will aallow differentiation. ...Read more

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I am sick! Do I have viral or bacterial pharyngitis if it went into bronchitis?

I am sick! Do I have viral or bacterial pharyngitis if it went into bronchitis?

Could be either...: Acute bronchitis can be due to a bacterial or viral infection of the airways and either can start from a pharyngitis infection. See your doctor to determine which type of infection you most likely have! ...Read more

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How do you know if you have bacteria or viral bronchitis?

How do you know if you have bacteria or viral bronchitis?

You generally don't: 1st, more than 95% of "bronchitis" is viral. Secondly the other 5% probably resolve spontaneously without any therapy. It really does not matter unless you are otherwise chronically ill from congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Bronchitis is just a term we throw around for people who have a new cough, and it is not really that well defined. ...Read more

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How do you know difference between bacterial or viral bronchitis?

Few things...: Symptoms for a viral bronchitis tend to be milder (although not necessarily), it resolves on its own and lasts for a shorter period of time. In patients with other risk factors like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, asthma or COPD, smokers, and the like there is a greater risk of developing a bacterial type of infection due to a weak immune system. Pts with a bacteria tend to have more complications ...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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My doc told me I have bacterial bronchitis and laryngitis. You can have both?

My doc told me I have bacterial bronchitis and laryngitis. You can have both?

Yes: Bronchitis is the inflammation of the pipes that feed air to your lungs. In this case because of infection. Laryngitis is the inflammation of your voicebox. You can have either or both. ...Read more

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How long is someone contagious for when they have the common cold, flu, or bacterial / viral bronchitis?

How long is someone contagious for when they have the common cold, flu, or bacterial / viral bronchitis?

Contagious periods: The contagious period differs for each type of infection, even among different viruses! There is a range of values based on different infections ranging from common cold to influenza. These vary from 24 hours to up to 2 weeks! You should ask your physician what infection you have and for how long you will be contagious. Common sense dictates that respiratory viruses travel by cough or sneeze. ...Read more

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What is a viral rash & how do I get rid of one? Causing red itchy bumps in random places that come & go. Doc said side effect of post-viral bronchitis

What is a viral rash & how do I get rid of one? Causing red itchy bumps in random places that come & go. Doc said side effect of post-viral bronchitis

Antihistamines: Good morning,
viral rashes could vary in nature from macules and papules due to chicken pox and mononucleosis to hives, which can last for a long time. Red itchy bumps suggest hives. Viruses come to our body, enter the cells of different types and take over the management of the affected cells just like a new manager. Our immune system reacts by antibodies to reject them, and will eliminate them. ...Read more

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How do doctors distinguish between bacterial infections and viral infections?

How do doctors distinguish between bacterial infections and viral infections?

If the cause of: Illness can't be determined through history and physical examination - that lab tests may be required. ...Read more

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How does a doctor determine if your diagnosis is viral or bacterial conjunctivitis?

How does a doctor determine if your diagnosis is viral or bacterial conjunctivitis?

Clinically: A history and clinical examination is essentially all that is needed to diagnose a bacterial or viral conjunctivitis. infrequently, conjunctival cultures are taken to confirm the pathogen responsible for the infection, whether bacterial, fungal or viral. ...Read more

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What is the difference between viral infection and bacterial infection? I'm currently having viral infection according to my doctor.

What is the difference between viral infection and bacterial infection? I'm currently having viral infection according to my doctor.

Virus v Bacteria: The simple answer, and not trying to sound flip, is that viruses causes viral illnesses, bacteria cause bacterial infections. Antibiotics can help with bacterial infections, but only some antiviral medications are available to help with the course of some viral illnesses. Most viral illnesses just have to run their course. ...Read more

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If a patient is discovered to have either bacterial or viral pharyngitis is there a need for them to follow up with the doctor after taking meds?

If a patient is discovered to have either bacterial or viral pharyngitis is there a need for them to follow up with the doctor after taking meds?

Yes, especially.....: There are a number of bacteria that have developed a resistance to various antibiotics. It is essential for you to know that your conditions have been treated and that the cause of disease is under control. Sometimes you just kill the easy to eradicate bacteria and when the problem reappears it has more of the resiistant bacteria and antibiotics may not work well. ...Read more

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Doctor, my vision has been blurry for quite a while now. Before this I had pink eye and I'm not sure if it was bacterial or viral. My eyes are not red?

Doctor, my vision has been blurry for quite a while now. Before this I had pink eye and I'm not sure if it was bacterial or viral. My eyes are not red?

Blurry vision: Blurry vision that develops during the day can be caused by dry eyes (keratoconjunctivitis sicca), allergies and medications, to name a few. Lubricating drops or allergy drops that are preservative free can be used for relief. Changes in vision should prompt a visit to an optometrist for evaluation sooner rather than later. ...Read more

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Would there be a reason why doctors would think a case of meningitis is viral as opposed to bacterial if the csf cell count was 80% neutrophils and his csf glucose was low?

Would there be a reason why doctors would think a case of meningitis is viral as opposed to bacterial if the csf cell count was 80% neutrophils and his csf glucose was low?

Meningitis diagnosis: Medical diagnosis of any condition, including meningitis, rarely depends on any one lab test but also overall clinical presentation, symptoms, exam findings, etc. Viral meningitis often has mostly neutrophils in CSF early on, becoming mononuclear cells in a few days. It would be unusual to have very low CSF glucose in viral meningitis, but slightly low often is OK. Discuss w/ patient's doctor (s). ...Read more

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My 2yr old has had a runny nose x3days... The drainage is clear. Doctor says viral. Now he has fever/sore throat/vomiting/lethargy. Is it bacterial?

My 2yr old has had a runny nose x3days... The drainage is clear. Doctor says viral. Now he has fever/sore throat/vomiting/lethargy. Is it bacterial?

Probably not: Clear mucus is not a typical finding in bacterial infection. The symptoms are more suggestive of a viral illness. If the fever persists see your doctor. ...Read more

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At my last check up, I forgot to tell the doctor about bronchitis. Is that ok?

At my last check up, I forgot to tell the doctor about bronchitis. Is that ok?

Update your Doc: It is always best if your doctor has the most complete history in order to give you the best treatment possible. Call your doctors office so they can update your history ...Read more

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My doc said I m suffering from allergic bronchitis and pres. Me a combination of montelukast and acebrophylline. Canu please tell me abt. All. Bronchitis?

My doc said I m suffering from allergic bronchitis and pres. Me a combination of montelukast and acebrophylline. Canu please tell me abt. All. Bronchitis?

Bronchitis: Every time you breathe in, air enters your nose and mouth. It flows down your throat and into a series of air passageways called bronchial tubes. Those tubes need to be open for the air to reach your lungs, where the oxygen is passed into the blood to be transported to your body's tissues.

If the airways are inflamed, air has more difficulty getting to your lungs... For further info google it ...Read more

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How can I tell if I have viral or bacterial pink eye?

How can I tell if I have viral or bacterial pink eye?

Symptoms: In adults without a history of surgery or trauma, by far the most common infections are viral causing redness, itching, clear-sticky discharge and commonly are bilateral. Bacterial infectious is more flagrant, frequently drops the vision, has pus and much swelling, and commonly is painful. Your ophthalmologist can sort this out for you. ...Read more

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What type of pink eye do I have? Viral or bacterial, but how do you tell the difference?

What type of pink eye do I have? Viral or bacterial, but how do you tell the difference?

Viral: Traditionally "pink eye" is a viral infection and it is highly contagious. You should wash your hands frequently and use a hand sanitizer. You can be contagious for 10-14 days after contracting the virus and can reinfect yourself if you are not careful. Viral infections usually produce "watery" discharge whereas a bacterial infection produces "pus". See your eye doctor for the diagnosis. ...Read more

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Can you tell me what viral meningitis or bacterial l meningitis is?

See below: Both causes severe headache, vomiting, altered mental status, and sometimes seizure. Same condition can be produced by different bacteria or viruses. In general, bacterial meningitis result in more complications including death. ...Read more

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Can any doc tell me what's streptococcus bacteria?

See Below: Streptococcus is a Genus of bacteria that are round in shape and form chains. They stain Gram positive or dark purple on Gram stain. There are many different species of Streptococcus such as S. pyogenes, the cause of Strep throat and the flesh eating bug or necrotizing fasciitis. Strep pneumoniae is a common cause of pneumonia. Different species of Strep colonize the mouth, intestine and vagina. ...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