Difference Between Viral and Bacterial Forms of Acute Bronchitis
Often it is hard to tell the difference between the
bacterial forms of
acute bronchitis. Both types usually develop during or
after a cold or other
upper respiratory infection.
Viral bronchitis usually
causes a mild fever. Little to no mucus is coughed up from the lungs in the
beginning, and you most likely do not feel very sick. If you have viral bronchitis
along with influenza (flu), you may feel quite
Bacterial bronchitis may cause a higher
fever and a cough that often produces thick, dark, discolored
mucus from the lungs (not mucus drainage from the back of the throat). You may
feel very sick.
In otherwise healthy people, both bacterial and viral bronchitis
usually get better with home treatment. But if you have another
respiratory disease, such as
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),
cystic fibrosis, acute bronchitis may be a serious
problem and may be treated differently.
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