What's Going Around: Acute Bronchitis - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

What's Going Around: Acute Bronchitis

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MONROE (WKOW) -- If you got sick this season, you may have experienced a cough that lasted for weeks. 

Dr. Michele Roelli with Monroe Clinic says she's seeing patients with acute (or short-term) bronchitis. It can last for a few days or several weeks.

Dr. Roelli says acute bronchitis is when the airways in the lungs are irritated by a virus, bacteria or allergen. Your cough will produce a yellow or greenish mucus.

To treat, avoid smoke, allergens and other things that can trigger a cough. If your infection is bacterial, antibiotics may help. But Dr. Roelli says most cases of bronchitis stem from a virus, so antibiotics won't help.

Dr. Roelli says it's also important to get plenty of sleep and fluids. To ease symptoms, you can try a humidifier or extra pillows to prop you up. Over-the-counter medicines can also help with symptoms or pain.

Here are some tips from Dr. Roelli to prevent bronchitis:

· Avoid tobacco smoke. If you smoke, quit. Stay away from smoky places. Ask friends and family not to smoke around you, or in your home or car.

· Get checked for allergies.

· Ask your provider about getting a yearly flu shot and pneumonia shot.

· Wash your hands often. This helps reduce the chance of picking up the viruses that cause colds and flu.

Dr. Roelli says to call your provider if your symptoms get worse or new symptoms develop, you have trouble breathing, or you don't get better within a week.

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