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Productive cough, fatigue. Strep test negative, nasal and throat culture shows heavy mixed respiratory flora. Suggestions?

Hi, I have had a productive cough for about 4 weeks now, and have been feeling fatigued. Went into the doctor s office to find out what I might have and they did a strep test (negative), and nasal/ throat culture . The nasal/throat culture returned the result Heavy Mixed respiratory flora . Is that something to be worried about, or is it fairly common? What sort of illness would that result suggest? Thanks for any insight!
Asked On : Sun, 3 Mar 2013
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Pediatrician, Critical Care 's  Response
Thanks for posting your query here.

I can appreciate that you are worried about your result showing heavy mixed respiratory flora.

I can reassure that this is not dangerous. We all carry lots of bacteria and viruses in our body, on skin, in nose, throat and gut. They are symbiotic - living with us but not causing any medical problems to us unless we have very weak immunity. Mixed respiratory flora usually means they have identified some bacterias, however they are also known to be carried by healthy individuals.

I would visit the doctor again since you have a cough ongoing for a period of 4 weeks, longer than most other conditions causing cough. It could be allergy. Do you get infections easily? Have you had any travel/visit recently abroad or tropical area?

Apart from feeling fatigued, are there any other symptoms? Do you smoke?

Your doctor may wish to get a chest x-ray, after clinical examination.

I hope I have been helpful to guide you further.


Dr Tejas Shah
Answered: Sun, 3 Mar 2013
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