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Cough, chest tightness, gurgling in airways, fever. Has spread to family. Is it a viral infection?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
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Hi my husband had it first but now both myself and daughter seem to have it too. Started with a cough about a week ago but not letting up. In fact I seem to have a tight chest at times and can hear the gurgling in my airways. We also had the fever for 2 days but now it's the cough that lingers and driving us to distraction. Can't get much rest and left drained and lethargic. Is it a viral infection and should I see a doctor for antibiotics?
Posted Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

A persistent cough for one week with chest tightness and a gurgling noise in chest is indicative of infection and collection of secretions in the airways. If the cough is dry and not associated with phlegm then most likely it is a viral infection.

If there is expectoration then superadded bacterial infection is likely which needs systemic antibiotics to deal with. You will have to consult your physician to get the best antibiotic and bronchodilators prescribed for you. Steroids- both oral and inhalers might be needed for symptomatic relief.

However the best treatment for persistent cough is steam inhalation. Inhaling steam from a bowl of hot (but not boiling water) may help to soften, and loosen, the buildup of mucus in your airways. You may also find that adding some menthol crystals, or eucalyptus oil, to the water helps a lot.

Other than that, avoid eating indigestible, spicy, foods and meats and eat simple wholesome foods. Out-of-door exercise, sunbaths also help a lot.

If you have a fever or the cough is worsening then it is advisable to get a X-ray chest done to rule out pneumonia as well.

I hope this answers your query.

In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Wishing you good health.

Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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