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Bronchitis vs Covid – How to Distinguish between Them?

Jul 15, 2022 | Blog

Gone are the days when people used not to take coughs seriously. In the past two years, even the slightest change in the respiratory system has been under strict observation due to coronavirus. This is because one of the major symptoms of this disease is cough and other respiratory ailments. So, how can you differentiate between a common illness like bronchitis vs. covid?

Although there are many similarities, such as symptoms of coughing and breathing difficulties in both bronchitis and covid. But, there are marked differences as well.

Bronchitis vs covid-19 Symptoms

The primary difference between these two is the reason for their occurrence. Covid-19 results from virus or bacterial manifestation, while bronchitis is basically inflammation of the bronchioles that could be due to any reason, cold, flu, allergy, etc.

The only sure-shot way to know what you have is getting a test done for Covid. With that, you can observe some other symptoms for covid that do not show up with regular bronchitis, such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of taste or smell

Another difference between the two is the type of cough. It is productive and wet in bronchitis vs covid; it is dry.

Covid and Bronchitis Similarities

Both these conditions hit the respiratory system; therefore, similar symptoms are:

  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Fever fin the initial days
  • Muscle or body pain
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nasal congestion

Bronchitis or Covid, Which One Is Contagious?

Acute bronchitis resulting from an infection due to a virus or bacteria is contagious and can spread from one to another, just like covid-19. In a nutshell, both are contagious, so covering oneself is necessary while coughing. However, since chronic bronchitis does not involve germs, it is not considered easily spreadable.


Bronchitis treatment is basically getting rid of the virus or bacteria causing it. In the meantime, symptomatic relief options are available for discomfort and pain.

  • Rest up
  • Lozenges intake
  • Use a humidifier
  • Honey
  • Tea for sore throat
  • Lots and lots of fluid
  • OTC medications

As far as covid is concerned, only FDA-approved medication, an antiviral drug remdesivir, is used, that too in severe cases.

One of the things you should do is isolate if you start observing symptoms of either bronchitis or covid-19. It is better not to spread it until further confirmation.

Final Outlook

In either scenario, be it covid or bronchitis, if you start developing severe symptoms such as chest pain, breathing difficulties, or even confusion, call for help. Managing mild symptoms at home is fine, but in the case of covid, you need proper care. Reach out to the lung doctor from Pulmonary Medical Consultants for help.


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