Is It Bronchitis?
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Is It Bronchitis?

Acute bronchitis often follows a common cold or flu or any infection of the nose and throat, usually for the same reason as pneumonia.

Acute bronchitis, another complication of the flu, is an inflammation of the bronchi, the air passages or tubes to the lungs -- not of the lung tissue itself, as in pneumonia. Acute bronchitis often follows a common cold or flu or any infection of the nose and throat, usually for the same reason as pneumonia -- because your defenses are lowered, making you more susceptible to the viruses or bacteria that cause these illnesses.

Bronchitis has the following symptoms:

  • a slight fever, 100 to 102 degrees F
  • an irritating, dry, painful cough that starts to produce thick, yellow sputum after two or three days; at this stage the fever often recedes, and the pain from coughing diminishes

Even after the condition improves, a slight cough commonly remains for another week or two. Most cases of acute bronchitis simply represent continued inflammation from viral infection, rather than a bacterial complication. Many people benefit from short-term use of an inhaled bronchodilator. Antibiotics are generally not recommended in otherwise healthy adults with acute bronchitis, regardless of the duration of cough. But if you have a cough for three weeks or more, you should be carefully evaluated to rule out the possibility of pneumonia.

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