ADPH weighs in on recognizing bronchitis from COVID-19

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 5:37 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health is warning those experiencing symptoms often linked to bronchitis that they could be positive for the coronavirus.

“We don’t want to really say ‘okay, well, I get this every year, so I probably just have bronchitis,’” Dr. Karen Landers with ADPH said. “Again, we want to check with our doctor and see whether or not we need to be tested for COVID.”

Symptoms for both infections include cough, nasal congestion, fever, shortness of breath and more. That is why Landers said it is best to play it safe by getting tested.

“I would rather be on the side of ensuring that the patient had been assessed and tested for COVID and determined to not have COVID, then to say, ‘well, oh this is just your seasonal situation, so we won’t worry about it,’” Landers said. “Because, again, these symptoms are so similar.”

If COVID is the cause for your symptoms, Landers said you may qualify for monoclonal antibody treatment. It’s potential relief that is available for those who get tested.

“Not everybody qualifies for those,” Landers said. “We do have that information on our website, because some people, again, if they have underlying pulmonary disease might qualify for monoclonals or other underlying diseases.”

Landers added that bronchitis is a generic term that includes several types of infections.

“Bronchitis is really a very broad term that is used as a catch all if you will for a lot of viral infections that affect the respiratory tract,” she said.

Additionally, Landers said the public should consider whether the symptoms they are experiencing happen every year. While it could be seasonal allergies, it could also be the coronavirus.

“I think when we’re talking about the more likely causes at the moment - it’s COVID,” Landers said.

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