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Respiratory Therapist/Bronchitis and Flu Diagnosis?


  My wife contacted soem respiratory bug about 3-4 days ago. This happened shortly after she did an outdoor run (4 miles) in 13 degree weather (I know....dumb). When she coughs, it goes into a rather severe "spasm" of continued deep, gutteral coughs. It has been keeping her up at nights, she has been running an "up and down" fever, she has no energy (like the walking dead), her throat and lungs feels like they are on fire. I took her to the local urgent care center and the doctor said that she has bronchitis and the flu. Neither she or he talked about how long symptoms should last, or if they continue to last how ever long...what to expect or what she sould do.

 She is an active person, with a very healthy diet, does not smoke or drink. The doctor prescribed Tamiflu and Zithromax (Z-pac).

  Any thoughts regarding her condition, what the doc ordered, and what should be done and expected. Would pneumonia be considered?

Thank you for your time and efforts...

Bronchitis can last up to 3 to 4 weeks, and can really knock the hell out of someone making them very tired.  First of all since she had severe spasms like that, she should be on antibiotics especially if the mucous out of her nose and throat is yellow or green color as this are signs for infection. If it is she needs to go back and tell them the color of her sputum.Also if its really severe he might want to give her an albuterol inhaler like the people take when they get asthma.  Of course Tylenol or motrin for the fever.  Also lemon honey tea.  A lot of honey even if you heat some on a teaspoon and swallow it, it really soothes the throat soreness.  If this persists she should go to a hospital to get a chest xray as bronchitis can easily turn into walking pneumonia, but it can last minimum 2 weeks but up to even 5 weeks, of course no more running around.  I just saw that shes on Zithromax which is a strong antibiotic but sometimes not strong enough so after the zitromax if sputum is still green or yellow she needs a stronger one like levaquin, and the chest xray.  In fact it would have been a good idea to get a chest xray when she was there, but these urgent care centers are basically just for emergencies.  If she does not have a general physician, she can always go to the er and tell them her symptoms, and they would take the chest xray. Other than that.  ginger and chaomille tea for the fluish symptoms especially if she starts getting stomach cramps from the flu.  and bed rest , a lot of it,  Many times people with bronchitis think after 5 days they feel fine, only to find they had a set back.  Make sure she takes the complete regimen of the medications given to her and not just take it until she feel better.For the cough,  taking robitussin isn't good because it only keeps it in.  Once again honey for the cough and also if you have a cool mist humidifier, you can get one in cvs or your local drug store, they are great when you have a cold especially if you are prone to get bronchitis, the cvs cool mist humidifier is good and the vicks one, they sell for 20 dollars and 40 dollars and get a pack of filters, Its basically a tub you fill with cold water.  I want her to put a tablespoon of table salt in the water, this is the key, put it in the bedroom at night and close the door. Sleep on 2-3 will make a mist, the water filters the air and the salt will dry up the secretions.  hope this helps. hope she gets better quick, feel free to email again, Happy and Healthy New Year,  Karel.  Pss pneumonia can only be detected with the chest xray, it will show whats called consolidation on the xray which all the white would be to one side ,this also is heard thru the stethoscope, her lungs would sound like wheezing or sawing sound this is water on the lung, which is pneumonia,  she then would be on stronger antibiotics like levaquin. and xray repeated every 4 weeks until the water clears up  most doctors would not bother but you demand it. many times pneumonia goes undetected because thephysician just does  not order a simple chest xray.  

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Karel Sleis


Basic questions on coping and maintaining asthma, copd, emphysema.Basic questions on oxygen therapy at home, no ventilators.


I have been a Respiratory Therapist since 1989

American Association of Respiratory Care

University of Mississippi Respiratory Care Program NYC Dept of Education Respiratory Therapist License

Past/Present Clients
Have been n expert on sleep disorders also on this website for years

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