Have you been coughing? Do you feel tired? Have a feeling of soreness or tightness in your chest? Then you may have What’s Going Around this week – Bronchitis.
Centra Care physicians have been documenting a steady increase in cases of Bronchitis around Central Florida for the last four weeks. Here are the locations that have seen the biggest upsurge in Bronchitis diagnoses this week:
Kissimmee – kids up 900%, adults up 267%
Dr. Phillips – kids up 500%, adults up 300%
University – adults up 217%
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Bronchitis is inflammation of the large air passages in the lungs. It occurs when the mucous lining in the airways becomes irritated and swollen. Symptoms of bronchitis include a dry cough that develops into a cough with mucus, wheezing, fatigue, chest tightness and a mild fever; sometimes with chills.
Typically acute bronchitis develops from colds and other URI’s. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand is most often a result of smoking or other pollutants. Acute bronchitis is contagious so washing your hands and keeping them away from your face is an important step in prevention.
Bronchitis usually goes away on its own in about a week, but if your symptoms worsen, you have shortness of breath, or a fever that lasts more than four or five days, you should contact your physician.
If you suspect you have bronchitis there are some things you can do at home to lessen the severity of symptoms:
- Over the counter medications can help pain, fever and cough
- A humidifier can help break up mucus
- Drink lots of fluids
- Get plenty of rest
- Keep away from tobacco smoke
You can help prevent acute bronchitis by avoiding:
- Air pollutants, irritants and allergens
- Smoking/second-hand smoke – it lessens your body’s ability to fight bacteria and viruses
- Contact with people who have an upper respiratory infection like a cold or pneumonia; especially if you have a chronic illness or impaired immune system
Every Centra Care location treats adult and pediatric patients without an appointment or you can make an Online Reservation at centracare.org. If you or someone in your family needs a vaccination or suffers from an illness, allergy or injury that needs medical attention, Centra Care has 30 locations, serving you 7-days a week.