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Doctor insights on: How Do I Know If I Have Bacterial Or Viral Bronchitis

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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

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
1,163 doctors shared insights

Bronchitis (Definition)

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi (airways that carry air from the trachea to the more distal parts of the lungs, or bronchioles). Bronchitis may be caused by either viral or bacterial infections, and is treated with antibiotics , steroids, inhaled bronchodilators, or mucolytics. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic. The latter is usually associated with smoking and may be part of COPD. Both acute and chronic bronchitis can lead to other serious conditions, including pneumonia with ...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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How do you know difference between bacterial or viral bronchitis?

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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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 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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Is post viral bronchitis contagious?

Is post viral bronchitis contagious?

Without symptoms: Viral bronchitis is usually contagious 1-4 days after intiation of illness. However coughing and sneezing spreads contagious droplets with virus from person to person. Most safe if not coughing or sneezing. ...Read more

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I have had a cough for a couple of weeks from viral bronchitis. When I cough sometimes I can not stop causing me to not be able to breath AT ALL, HELP?

I have had a cough for a couple of weeks from viral bronchitis. When I cough sometimes I can not stop causing me to not be able to breath AT ALL, HELP?

Cough: It sounds like you are experiencing an asthma like condition where the small muscles in your lower airway are spasming. (bronch0spasm). Can you hear yourself wheezing ? Most docs would prescribe an inhaler (albuterol) etc and perhaps a short course of steroids. See your primary care provider. ...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