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How can I tell if I have the common cold (with bronchitis), flu or pneumonia?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Asaf Presente
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care

In brief: Not so easy

Pneumonia is an infection of the lung or lower respiratory tracts.
A cold (usually caused by viruses) is an infection of the upper respiratory tract - flu also usually affects the upper tract but can start involving the lungs (serious). A patient should see a physician who can do lab tests and get an x-ray - doubly important to do so if a person is getting worse, dehydrated, or short of breath.

In brief: Not so easy

Pneumonia is an infection of the lung or lower respiratory tracts.
A cold (usually caused by viruses) is an infection of the upper respiratory tract - flu also usually affects the upper tract but can start involving the lungs (serious). A patient should see a physician who can do lab tests and get an x-ray - doubly important to do so if a person is getting worse, dehydrated, or short of breath.
Dr. Asaf Presente
Dr. Asaf Presente
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