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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

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
1,211 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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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

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