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Have fever and productive cough with yellow phlegm. Any ideas?

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I have had a productive cough andd fever for a week. It is now painful to take anything but shallow breaths. The cough production is yellow. Any idea what it might be?
Posted Mon, 8 Apr 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 29 minutes later
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

It sounds like you may have bronchitis. This may be viral or bacterial, usually viral. It is associated with a productive cough.The yellow does not mean that there is a bacterial infection.
Pneumonia can also result in a fever and productive cough but this would be less likely at your age,this would normally occur in the elderly, children or in persons with an immunocompromised state ( diabetes, HIV, use of medications that suppress the immune system).

Treatment would involve the use of a mucolytic which would decrease the viscosity of the mucus and make it easier to come out of the chest. This can be combined with a medication to reopen the airways, in bronchitis, some of the symptoms are caused by partial closure of the airways. There are oral medications that can assist in reopening them.
You can also used a cough suppressants, you may be able to find a syrup that combines the mucolytic with the cough suppressants.Examples of mucolytics are bisolvan, mucinex (you may find this combined with cough suppressants), mucomyst.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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