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Acute Bronchitis Symptoms Versus Pneumonia Symptoms

Acute bronchitis is a widespread clinical feature that occurs after an invasion of a pathogen on the upper respiratory tract (Schlossberg, 2008). Virus and bacteria are the main cause of the disease. Usually, the same viruses that cause influenza are to blame for acute bronchitis. Other viruses that cause the disease are rhinoviruses and adenoviruses (Schlossberg, 2008). Equally, the microorganisms responsible for measles and whooping cough can cause the disease. Based on the above cases, the disease is referred to as acute infectious bronchitis. When the condition is caused by other pathogens such as inhaled dirt, fumes or smolders, the disease is referred to as irritative bronchitis.

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Like acute bronchitis, pneumonia is a common clinical feature in the United States (Schlossberg, 2008). The disease is the sixth most widespread cause of death. A microorganism that attacks the lung tissue causing inflammation causes the disease. Bacteria and viruses are the majority common cause of the disease. These microorganisms reach the air passages from being breathed in or from adjacent body cells. Currently, over 50 pathogens have been identified as responsible for pneumonia. Once the disease attacks the lungs, it causes fluid to deposit within the alveoli. The fluid obstructs with the capability of the lung to soak up oxygen to the blood capillaries and transport them to other body parts.

It is important to note that a 55-year-old pneumonia patient will portray different symptoms compared to a younger or 65 plus year old patient (Helms, 2006). As such, the above patient will portray the below symptoms. It is highly likely that the patient will be coughing greenish to yellowish mucus. In some instances, bloody mucus will be coughed. Equally, there are higher chances that the patient will have mild to high fever, quivering chills, and difficulties in breathing (Helms, 2006). Shortness in breath will be evidenced when the patient does work that requires extra energy such as climbing stairs. Other likely symptoms common among 55-year-old patients are excess sweats, sweaty skin, headache, loss of appetite, low energy, exhaustion, spiky chest pain, which increases during coughing (Helms, 2006). The presence of quivering chills, high fever, and difficulties in breath distinguishes the disease from pneumonia. Another difference between a patient with pneumonia and acute bronchitis is that x-rays from pneumonia patients do not appear normal.

A 55-year-old patient suffering from acute bronchitis will display a number of the above symptoms displayed by a 55-year-old patient with pneumonia. Unlike pneumonia patients, acute bronchitis patient’s cough will be dry during the initial stages (Niederman & Sarosi, 2001). After a few days, the patient’s coughs will contain mucus. Similarly, a patient the above patient with acute bronchitis will have no fever or mild fever. On the contrary, pneumonia patient will have higher temperatures reaching up to one hundred and one Fahrenheit. As indicated above, X-rays will distinguish acute bronchitis patient from pneumonia patient. Acute bronchitis patient x-rays will appear normal.

Based on the above illustrations, it is apparent that a 55-year-old pneumonia patient and a 55-year-old acute bronchitis patient share a number of similar symptoms. In this regard, doctors are advised to scrutinize the difference in symptoms of the above diseases when diagnosing patients with related signs (Schlossberg, 2008). Similarly, medics should note that patients with acute bronchitis have higher chances of contracting pneumonia.


Helms, R. A. (2006). Textbook of therapeutics: drug and disease management. Philadelphia, Pa.: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Niederman, M. S., & Sarosi, G. A. (2001). Respiratory infections. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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Schlossberg, D. (2008). Clinical infectious disease. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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