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Like many disorders, bronchitis can be acute (short-term), or chronic (long-lasting). Chronic bronchitis is a problem commonly seen in smokers, whereas acute bronchitis is almost always caused by viral infection, as elucidated by recent studies.
The symptoms of acute and chronic bronchitis include:
- Discolored mucus (white, yellow, or green) is not indicative of a bacterial infection; it is caused by peroxidase released by neutrophils
- Bloody (pink, red or rust-streaked) mucus (should be evaluated by a doctor)
- Shortness of breath, worsened by activity
- Low-grade fever
- Chest discomfort
- usually lasts about 7 to 10 days.
- rarely responds to antibiotics due to its primarily viral etiology and should be treated symptomatically.
- complications are more likely with comorbidities such as smoking, asthma, and COPD.
Section Online medical references
- Acute bronchitis Merck Manual of Diagnosis & Therapy
- Bronchitis The Merck Manual - Second Home Edition
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease The Merck Manual - Second Home Edition
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease The Merck Manual of Geriatrics
- Lungs OnLine - Bronchitis
-  FamilyDoctor.org (American Academy of Family Physicians)
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