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What is the cause and treatment for chest infection?

Answered by
Dr. Shruti Rijhwani


Practicing since :2008

Answered : 2366 Questions

Posted on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 in Infections
Question: Hello.
I have had a chest infection since Tuesday (July 29th) and went to the doctor on Thursday (July 31st) and she gave me Keflex 500 mg 4x a day for 7 days
I have been on medicine 3 days now and I'm not much better.
Dont cough to much during the day (hear and there every three or four hours and cough up green or yellow or clear) but at night when I lay down and go to bed I go into couching fits every few hours that wake me up and gets to the point that my stomach muscles hurt from coughing so much (like I did a bunch of situps)
Went back to doc yesterday and got Robitussen AC (cough suppresent with codine) and really helped last night, was able to sleep most of the night with minimal couching.
Question, is my cough viral or bacterial cause viral I read antibiotics wont work. How do you know which type you have? I didnt ask my doctor so wondering now from my symptoms if you would know or is there a way to know for sure and if the antibiotics will work?
Also, when I coughed before there was a little trace of blood when I spit it out. More like streaks of blood, like 90% mucus, 10% blood streaks. Is that anything to be concerned about or normal with a chest cold?
It happended a few times before but not everytime. Sometimes I cough and if I spit it out in the sink it is just alittle yellow, other times clear, othertimes clear or yellow with little streaks of blood.
What do you think I have going on? Is small streaks of blood in mucus of any concern or normal for chest cold and do you think from symptoms is my cold viral or bacterial and if I am not better by end of antiboitoics on Wednesday, should I go back for more or ?
Thank you in advance for your help with this. I have never in my life had such a bad chest cold.
I was away on vacation the week before and even though i dont normally drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, I did both one night and stayed out really late and didint get much sleep and then a few days later is when I started to have the cough coughing up green and yellow at times and the coughing at night is the worst to the point my esophagus hurts, my throat hurts and my stomach muscles hurt but i dont have a sore throat, just this off and on cough.
Again, thank you for taking the time to read my story and get back to me with some clarity of what might be going on.
Take care XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Shruti Rijhwani 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Dear Sir,

Thank you for posting your query on HCM.

Well looking into your problem I would like to tell you that in my opinion you are having bacterial infection as your sputum is green or yellow and you are getting blood streaks in it so most likely it is bacterial . Your doctor has prescribed you right medicine and you should take it and it generally takes a week to settle down.

Viral cough wont show up these features generally plus even when a person get viral infection antibiotics are generally prescribed as chances of having superadded bacterial infection goes up .

Take care.

Dr. Shruti
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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