What may start as flu-like symptoms can quickly take a turn for the worse. Though the flu is a popular winter illness culprit, it’s not the only one out there. The two contenders: Strep Throat and Bronchitis. Chances are, you’ll encounter one or the other. Both are important to catch early and seek medical attention to help prevent spreading to others. Read on to learn more about the difference between strep throat and bronchitis: Common Winter Illness’ and how to prevent catching them.
There are two types of bronchitis: chronic and acute. Acute bronchitis, also known as a chest cold, is an infection in the chest that lasts a week to 10 days.
Chronic bronchitis is not always winter-related and can last for months with occasional flair-ups every few years. Often associated with smoking, chronic bronchitis can also be brought on through the dust, toxins, and air pollution. If you have been diagnosed with chronic bronchitis in the past and are exposed to any kind of dust, fumes, or smoke for extended periods of time, wearing a surgical mask may be a good idea to help prevent inhaling these irritants.
Bronchitis is typically a viral infection that affects your chest and can be recognized by some of the listed symptoms.
- Sore chest
- Sore throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills
Not all viral infections can be prevented. Simply washing your hands and using hand sanitizers can go a long way in reducing the risk of catching a viral infection.
If you show signs of bronchitis, it is important to let your healthcare provider or the VIP Urgent Care doctors know your medical history. Blood work may be ordered to help spot infections and an X-ray can help identify any issues in the lungs and bronchial tubes. Antibiotics are not typically prescribed with viral infections, but your doctor may prescribe a bronchodilator to help open up your airways.
While you are sick, consider staying away from secondhand smoke and fumes. Rest and hydrating yourself.
Two words every parent dread hearing from the doctor’s mouth: Strep Throat. Anyone can contract strep, but it is most common in children. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that up to 3 in 10 children with a sore throat actually have strep throat, while 1 in 10 adults with a sore throat actually have strep.
Strep is a bacterial infection that affects the throat and tonsil. The symptoms listed below, are very unpleasant.
- Body aches or chills
- Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
- Sore and painful swallowing
- Red rash covering the body
- Tiny red spots in the back of the mouth
- Swollen tonsils
- Loss of appetite
- High Fever
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
In order to protect yourself from strep throat, it’s important to understand how it’s spread. The most common way to by breathing in droplets of bacteria exhaled by an infected person. That means stay away from someone who is coughing and sneezing. You can also catch strep throat by touching something where the infected droplets have landed and in return transfer them to your nose or mouth unknowingly, or by sharing food and drinks with an infected person.
This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or replace the advice of a healthcare professional. It is information that is generally available regarding strep throat and bronchitis: Common Winter Illness’. Each individual has unique medical needs based on several factors. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition that you are experiencing. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.