Respiratory Therapist/influenza


Hello, i was recently diagnosed with influenza A after a rapid flu test. Im starting to feel better as far as aches, pains, etc but obviously still have bad congestion. Im extremely hoarse from coughing so much that i barely have a voice. My question is, should i be taking 1 mucinex or 2 at a time? Ive been taking 1 every 12 hours but still feel a ton of congestion in my throat mainly, but also in my chest. Sometimes when i cough its productive and sometimes its dry and hoarse sounding. Im so hoarse i am actually having a hard time clearing my throat really. I dont hear myself wheezing or anything tho.

Hi Kristen,

Thank you for trusting me with your personal medical question. Yeah, Flu A is going around like wildfire right now, one of the worst strains we have seen in years...and this one is a beast. Type A flu or influenza A viruses are capable of infecting people as well as animals; although it is more common for people to suffer the ailments associated with this type of flu. Wild birds commonly act as the hosts for this flu virus.

Type A flu virus is constantly changing and is generally responsible for the larger flu epidemics. The influenza A2 virus (and other variants of influenza) is spread by people who are already infected. The most common flu hot spots are those surfaces that an infected person has touched and rooms where he has been recently, especially areas where he has been sneezing. So PLEASE make sure you are vigilant about hand-washing. Heck, wash the hands of people NEXT to you if you must.  :-)

As for the Mucinex, there are many different dosages and variations, so just follow the instructions on the package until your doctor tells you different.  Most importantly, make sure you are taking a high-quality multivitamin, supplemental Vitamin C and Zinc (consider the supplement "Airborne" for a week or so) and be sure to drink LOTS of water. Taking in lots of water helps ensure your body is well hydrated, which thins your mucus, which in turns makes it easier to clear and/or cough out. And I recommend just rotating Advil and Tylenol for general aches and pains, including the discomfort in your chest and throat. Too much back-to-back of the same pain reliever can hurt your kidneys and/or liver, so be sure to rotate those 2 meds.  I hope this helps, if not, lemme know.

Good luck!

Larry, RRT  

Respiratory Therapist

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Larry W. Wical, BA-RRT


I CAN answer: ALL questions and queries related to the following topics... - Oxygen - Asthma - COPD - Bronchitis - Emphysema - Pneumonia (Viral/Bacterial) - Tuberculosis (TB) - SARS - Influenza (Flu) - Vaccines - Pulmonary Embolism - Pleural Effusion - Atelectasis - Inhalation injuries (burns, chemicals, etc.) - PFTs - Cardiovascular health - Sleep Apnea - BiPap/CPAP - Ventilators (Respirators) - Aspiration injuries - Thoracic injuries - Lung contusions - Tracheal injuries - Artificial Tracheostomy - Secretions - Prolotherapy/Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT): A patient's experience/perspective - General health and fitness - Prolotherapy (from a patient's perspective) I CANNOT answer: Questions that vary too far from my primary scope of pulmonary and cardiovascular care and fitness. I promise to be open and honest about my knowledge of submitted topics, and will always openly provide my personal as well as professional feedback as it relates.


Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT, RCP) since 2005. I have worked primarily in the acute care, critical care, burn care and home care settings.

NBRC - National Board of Respiratory Care AARC - American Association of Respiratory Care

-All About Kids Magazine -The Clermont Sun -Cincy Sports & Fitness Magazine -Many online Fitness and Health blogs and "webazines"

- B.A. in Communication (1997) - A.A.S. in Respiratory Science (2005) - RRT license (state of OH, KY and IN) - Basic Life Saving (BLS) - Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) - Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS)

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Currently work in the city's largest academic/research hospital.

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