Severe strain of bronchitis spreading across four-state, change in weather is worsening symptoms


A new severe strain of bronchitis is making its way across the four-state region, and doctors said the extreme changes in weather are making some of the symptoms worse.

Dr. Don Stephens, a Meritus urgent care doctor, said gasping for air, constant coughing and consistent congestion are just a few of the symptoms from the latest severe strain of bronchitis.

“Some people are more likely to develop an asthmatic attack more so than others,” Stephens said. “They don’t have asthma, but the cough is just so pronounced, it’s so repetitive that it really makes them miserable.”

Stephens said since this is a viral illness, there is not much doctors can do it cure it, but they can treat some of the symptoms.

However, if the sickness goes untreated, doctors said it can lead to pneumonia.

“I’ve actually put some people on asthma inhalers. I’ve given a couple people steroids to reduce the inflammation in the lungs and not only that, we can give them medication,” Dr. Stephens said.

On top of that, Dr. Stephens said the extreme weather changes are also making some of the symptoms worse.

“Significant temperature changes, going from a cold environment to a warm environment, that can also cause inflammation within the lungs,” Dr. Stephens said.

But there are a few things you can do to stay healthy.

Doctors said washing your hands for at least 20 seconds at a time is the best way to stop the spread of this infectious disease.

In addition, doctors also said getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and healthy eating can also help.

Doctors said it usually takes about two weeks for most patients to recover from this strain of bronchitis.

Doctors urge those who think they might have the illness to visit their doctor.

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