Bronchitis is inflammation of the airways in the lung. Acute bronchitis is is short in duration (10 to 20 days) in comparison with chronic bronchitis, which lasts for months to years. Causes of acute bronchitis include viruses and bacteria, which means it can be contagious. Acute bronchitis caused by environmental factors such as pollution or cigarette smoke is not contagious. Common symptoms for acute bronchitis include nasal congestion, cough, headache, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue.
Acute bronchitis in children also my include runny nose, fever, and chest pain. Treatment for acute bronchitis are OTC pain relievers, cough suppressants (although not recommended in children), and rest. Infrequently antibiotics may be prescribed to treat acute bronchitis.Read more: Bronchitis (Acute) Contagoius Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Recovery Time Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Respiratory Illnesses: 12 Types of Lung Infections
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COPD Lung Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
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Viral Infection Types, Treatment, and Prevention
Watch this slideshow on Viral Infections and learn about types, treatment, and prevention of illnesses caused by viruses.
Common Cold Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take this quiz to learn the truth behind the infectious, contagious, uncomfortable disease known as the common cold. Test your...
Cold & Flu Quiz: Influenza vs. Common Cold
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Picture of Bronchitis
Acute bronchitis usually comes on quickly and gets better after several weeks. See a picture of Acute Bronchitis and learn more...
Picture of Bronchioles
A tiny tube in the air conduit system within the lungs that is a continuation of the bronchi and connects to the alveoli (the air...
Picture of Lungs
The lungs are a pair of spongy, air-filled organs located on either side of the chest (thorax). See a picture of the Lungs and...
Lung Cancer Symptoms, Stages, Treatment
Learn about lung cancer symptoms and treatments. Get more information on small cell lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and...
Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu
What natural remedies work for the flu and common cold? Many claim cold symptoms and flu symptoms can be relieved with Echinacea,...
Cold and Flu: Finding Relief for Your Cough
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What Is Asthma? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
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A Cold or The Flu? How to Tell the Difference
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Bronchitis Symptoms and Treatments
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COPD Foods to Boost Your Health - COPD Diet Tips
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10 Smart Exercises for People With COPD: Pictures
The more you exercise, the better you'll feel with COPD. Breathe easier with these 10 exercises from WebMD.
What’s Causing Your Indoor Air Pollution?
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Effects of Secondhand Smoke: Facts
The effects of secondhand smoke can be hazardous to your health. Secondhand smoke can lead to lung cancer, heart disease, and...
Cold, Fever and Flu Treatment in Children: Medications and Home Remedies
Colds and fevers are some of the most common ailments in children. Learn common cold symptoms, treatment options, over the...
Home Remedies for the Flu or a Cold
Watch this pictures slideshow and learn about home remedies for sick children. Get tips on how to treat a sore throat, cough,...
Related Disease Conditions
19 Tips on How to Stop a Cough
Coughing is a reflex that helps a person clear their airways of irritants. There are many causes of an excessive or severe cough including irritants like cigarette and secondhand smoke, pollution, air fresheners, medications like beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, the common cold, GERD, lung cancer, and heart disease. Natural and home remedies to help cure and soothe a cough include stay hydrated, gargle saltwater, use cough drops or lozenges, use herbs and supplements like ginger, mint, licorice, and slippery elm, and don't smoke. Over-the-counter products (OTC)to cure and soothe a cough include cough suppressants and expectorants, and anti-reflux drugs. Prescription drugs that help cure a cough include narcotic medications, antibiotics, inhaled steroids, and anti-reflux drugs like proton pump inhibitors or PPIs, for example, omeprazole (Prilosec), rabeprazole (Aciphex), and pantoprazole (Protonix).
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
Sinus infection (sinusitis) is caused by allergies, infection, and chemicals or other irritants of sinuses. Signs and symptoms are headache, fever, and facial tenderness, pressure, or pain. Treatments of sinus infections are generally with antibiotics and at times, home remedies.
Sore Throat Home Remedies
Natural and home remedies for sore throat symptoms and pain relief include essential oils, licorice gargles, slippery elm leaves, raw garlic, Throat Coat tea, sage, and acupuncture. Typical symptoms of a sore throat include throat pain, coughing, sneezing, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. Sore throats are caused by viral (common cold, flu, mumps), bacterial (tonsillitis, some STDs), toxins, allergens, trauma or injury, or "mechanical causes" (breathing through the mouth).
Fever in Adults and Children
Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Fever is part of the body's own disease-fighting arsenal; rising body temperatures apparently are capable of killing off many disease-producing organisms.
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI)
An upper respiratory infection is a contagious infection of the structures of the upper respiratory tract, which includes the sinuses, nasal passages, pharynx, and larynx. Common causes of an upper respiratory infection include bacteria and viruses such as rhinoviruses, group A streptococci, influenza, respiratory syncytial, whooping cough, diphtheria, and Epstein-Barr. Examples of symptoms of upper respiratory infection include sneezing, sore throat, cough, fever, and nasal congestion. Treatment of upper respiratory infections are based upon the cause. Generally, viral infections are treated symptomatically with over-the-counter (OTC) medication and home remedies.
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box (vocal cords). The most common cause of acute laryngitis is infection, which inflames the vocal cords. Symptoms may vary from degree of laryngitis and age of the person (laryngitis in infants and children is more commonly caused by croup). Common symptoms include a "barky" cough, a hoarse cough, fever, cold, runny nose, dry cough, and loss of voice. Chronic laryngitis generally lasts more than three weeks. Causes other than infection include smoking, excess coughing, GERD, and more. Treatment depends on the cause of laryngitis.
Night Sweats (In Men and Women) Causes, Remedies, and Treatments
Night sweats are severe hot flashes that occur at night and result in a drenching sweat. The causes of night sweats in most people are not serious, like menopause in women, sleep apnea, medications, alcohol withdrawal, and thyroid problems. However, more serious diseases like cancer and HIV also can cause night sweats. Your doctor will treat your night sweats depending upon the cause. You may experience other signs and symptoms that are associated with night sweats, which depend upon the cause, but may include, shaking, and chills with a fever caused by an infection like the flu or pneumonia; unexplained weight loss due to lymphoma; women in perimenopause or menopause may also have vaginal dryness, mood swings, and hot flashes during the day; and low blood sugar in people with diabetes. Other causes of night sweats include medications like NSAIDs (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), antidepressants, sildenafil (Viagra), and abuse of prescription or illegal drugs and drug withdrawal; hormone disorders like pheochromocytoma and carcinoid syndrome; idiopathic hyperhidrosis; infections like endocarditis, AIDs, and abscesses; alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal; drug abuse, addiction, and withdrawal; and stroke. A doctor or other health care professional can treat your night sweats after the cause has been diagnosed.
High Red Blood Cell Count (Polycythemia)
Polycythemia (elevated red blood cell count) is a rare blood disease in which the body produces too many red blood cells. Causes of polycythemia are either primary (acquired or genetic mutations) or secondary (diseases, conditions, high altitude).
Group B Strep
Group B strep are bacteria called Streptococcus agalactiae that may sometimes cause infections both in a pregnant woman and her baby. Symptoms include fever, seizures, heart rate abnormalities, breathing problems, and fussiness. Intravenous antibiotics are used to treat group B strep infections.
Bad breath can result from poor oral hygiene habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath, also called halitosis, can be made worse by the types of food eaten and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.
Sinus Headache Pain, Symptoms, Treatments, Remedies, and Cures
Sinus headache is caused by a sinus infection or inflammation of the sinus cavities. Symptoms of a sinus headache include pain, runny or stuffy nose, and chronic cough. There are many causes of sinus headaches including sinusitis or sinus infection, allergies, smoke, infections, or colds. Treatment for sinus headache depends on the cause. Some home remedies may relieve sinus headache pain symptoms.
COPD vs. Emphysema
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the term doctors and other healthcare professionals use to describe a group of serious, progressive (worsens over time), chronic lung diseases that include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and sometimes asthma. The number one cause of COPD or emphysema, is smoking, and smoking is the third leading cause of death in the US.
Nausea and Vomiting (Causes, Natural Remedies, Diet, Medication)
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions. There are numerous cases of nausea and vomiting. Some causes may not require medical treatment, for example, motion sickness, and other causes may require medical treatment by a doctor, for example, heart attack, lung infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Some causes of nausea and vomiting may be life threatening, for example, heart attack, abdominal obstruction, and cancers. Treatment of nausea and vomiting depends upon the cause.
Lung cancer kills more men and women than any other form of cancer. Eight out of 10 lung cancers are due to tobacco smoke. Lung cancers are classified as either small-cell or non-small-cell lung cancers.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Life Expectancy
COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a lung condition caused by smoking tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke, and/or air pollutants. Conditions that accompany COPD include chronic bronchitis, chronic cough, and emphysema. Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, wheezing, and chronic cough. Treatment of COPD include GOLD guidelines, smoking cessation, medications, and surgery. The life expectancy of a person with COPD depends on the stage of the disease.
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Cough (Chronic, Persistent Cough in Adults and Children)
Chronic cough is a cough that does not go away and is generally a symptom of another disorder such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, sinus infection, cigarette smoking, GERD, postnasal drip, bronchitis, pneumonia, medications, and less frequently tumors or other lung disease. Chronic cough treatment is based on the cause, but may be soothed natural and home remedies.
Symptoms of 12 Serious Diseases and Health Problems
Learn how to recognize early warning signs and symptoms of serious diseases and health problems, for example, chronic cough, headache, chest pain, nausea, stool color or consistency changes, heartburn, skin moles, anxiety, nightmares, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, delusions, lightheadedness, night sweats, eye problems, confusion, depression, severe pelvic or abdominal pain, unusual vaginal discharge, and nipple changes. The symptoms and signs of serious health problems can be caused by strokes, heart attacks, cancers, reproductive problems in females (for example, cancers, fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and sexually transmitted diseases or STDs), breast problems (for example, breast cancer and non-cancer related diseases), lung diseases (for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, lung cancer, emphysema, and asthma), stomach or digestive diseases (for example, cancers, gallbladder, liver, and pancreatic diseases, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease), bladder problems (for example, urinary incontinence, and kidney infections), skin cancer, muscle and joint problems, emotional problems or mental illness (for example, postpartum depression, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mania, and schizophrenia), and headache disorders (for example, migraines, or "the worst headache of your life), and eating disorders and weight problems (for example, anorexia or bulimia).
COPD vs. Asthma (Differences and Similarities)
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and asthma both have common symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and a tight feeling in the chest. COPD is caused by tobacco smoking, while asthma is caused by your inherited genetic makeup and their interactions with the environment. Risk factors for asthma are obesity, exposure to cigarette smoke (even secondhand smoke), and personal history of hay fever. There is no cure for either disease, but symptoms can be managed with medication. A person with asthma has a better prognosis and life expectancy than someone with COPD.
Smoker's Lung: Pathology Photo Essay
Smoker's lung photo essay is a collection of pictures and microscopic slides of lung disease caused by cigarette smoking. Smoker's lung refers to the diseases and structural abnormalities in the lung caused by cigarette smoking.
Adenovirus 14 (Killer Cold Virus)
Adenovirus infection, particularly Ad14, or the "killer cold virus" has been on the increase in the past two years. Symptoms range from those experienced with colds, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, pinkeye, fever, bladder infection, and neurological conditions. Diagnosis and treatment options need to be discussed with your physician.
Second Source article from WebMD
Asthma is a condition in which hyperreactive airways constrict and result in symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Causes of asthma include genetics, environmental factors, personal history of allergies, and other factors. Asthma is diagnosed by a physician based on a patient's family history and results from lung function tests and other exams. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and long-acting bronchodilators (LABAs) are used in the treatment of asthma. Generally, the prognosis for a patient with asthma is good. Exposure to allergens found on farms may protect against asthma symptoms.
Influenza (flu) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. The flu may be prevented with an annual influenza vaccination.
Chronic Bronchitis (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Remedies)
Chronic bronchitis is a cough that occurs daily with production of sputum that lasts for at least three months, two years in a row. Causes of chronic bronchitis include cigarette smoking, inhaled irritants, and underlying disease processes (such as asthma, or congestive heart failure). Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Treatments include bronchodilators and steroids. Complications of chronic bronchitis include COPD and emphysema.
Lung Anatomy (Structure and Function)
The lungs are primarily responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the air we breathe and the blood. Eliminating carbon dioxide from the blood is important, because as it builds up in the blood, headaches, drowsiness, coma, and eventually death may occur. The air we breathe in (inhalation) is warmed, humidified, and cleaned by the nose and the lungs.
Smoking (How to Quit Smoking)
Smoking is an addiction. More than 430,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from smoking related illnesses. Secondhand smoke or "passive smoke" also harm family members, coworkers, and others around smokers. There are a number of techniques available to assist people who want to quit smoking.
Cold, Flu, Allergy Treatments
Before treating a cold, the flu, or allergies with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, it's important to know what's causing the symptoms, which symptoms one wishes to relieve, and the active ingredients in the OTC product. Taking products that only contain the medications needed for relieving your symptoms prevents ingestion of unnecessary medications and reduces the chances of side effects.
Children's Cough Causes and Treatments
Children's cough causes include infection, acid reflux, asthma, allergies or sinus infection, whooping cough, and exposure to irritants. Treatment for a child's cough include cough medicine for children over the age of four.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a highly contagious viral infection. Symptoms include fever and nasal congestion and discharge. Treatment focuses on supportive care. This disease has a good prognosis in babies and infants.
Secondhand smoke can cause illness and disease in nonsmokers. Some of these conditions include lung cancer, heart disease, respiratory illnesses such as asthma, SIDS, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Learn how you can protect yourself and your family from secondhand smoke exposure in the home environment and workplace.
Adenovirus infections are common and often have no symptoms. Adenoviruses cause illnesses like bladder infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, bronchitis, pinkeye, colds, encephalitis, sore throat, and meningitis. Signs and symptoms of an adenovirus infection depend on the type of virus causing the infection. Treatment focuses on supportive care. A vaccine against adenovirus type 4 and 7 is available only to U.S. military personnel.
Adult-onset asthma is asthma that is diagnosed in people over 20 years of age. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Treatment may involve anti-inflammatory medications or bronchodilators.
There are many unusual symptoms of asthma, including sighing, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, chronic cough, recurrent walking pneumonia, and rapid breathing. These symptoms may vary from individual to individual. These asthma complexities make it difficult to accurately diagnose and treat asthma.
Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, and Colds
If you have a COPD such as emphysema, avoiding chronic bronchitis and colds is important to avoid a more severe respiratory infection such as pneumonia. Avoiding cigarette smoking, practice good hygeine, stay away from crowds, and alerting your healthcare provider if you have a sinus infection or cold or cough that becomes worse. Treatment options depend upon the severity of the emphysema, bronchitis, or cold combination.
Local ResourcesFind a local Pulmonologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Cold & Flu FAQs
- Common Cold FAQs
- Bronchitis FAQs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Emphysema from Crack Cocaine?
- Killer Cold Virus (Adenovirus Strains)
- Doctors Answer Lung Condition Questions
- Acute Bronchitis Treatment Treatment Medications and Home Remedies
- Acute Bronchitis: How Long Do Symptoms Last?
Medications & Supplements
- prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos) Corticosteroid
- Corticosteroids (Systemic, Oral, Injections, Types)
- Predinsone Side Effects (Adverse Effects)
- cephalexin (Keflex)
- Amoxicillin vs. Levaquin (Strength and Effectiveness)
- amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxatag, Larotid)
- Amoxicillin vs. Augmentin (Comparison of Side Effects and Antibiotic Uses)
- cefixime (Suprax)
- cefdinir (Omnicef has been discontinued)
- benzonatate (Tessalon Perles)
- azithromycin (Zithromax, Zithromax Z-Pak, Zithromax Tri-Pak, Zmax)
- guaifenesin (Robitussin, Mucinex)
- prednisolone (Orapred, Pediapred)
- clarithromycin, Biaxin
- cefuroxime, Ceftin, Zinacef
- terbutaline (Brethine)
- Doxycycline vs. Keflex
- hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- albuterol (Ventolin, Proventil)
- Cefdinir vs. Keflex
- fexofenadine and pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D)
- Nitrofurantoin vs. Amoxicillin
- guaifenesin and dextromethorphan hydrobromide (Robitussin and Mucinex)
- Cefdinir vs. cefixime (Suprax) 3rd Generation Antibiotics
- penicillin V
- Bactrim vs. Cefdinir
- guaifenesin and codeine (Cheratussin, Iophen)
- Nitrofurantoin vs. Bactrim
- cefprozil (Cefzil)
- hydrocodone (Zohydro ER)
- Suprax (cefixime) vs. Keflex (cephalexin)
- loratadine and pseudoephedrine (Alavert Allergy & Sinus, Claritin-D, Claritin-D 24 hour)
- Suprax (cefixime) vs. cefuroxime
- Suprax (cefixime) vs. azithromycin
- Nitrofurantoin vs. Cephalexin
- Advair Diskus, Advair HFA (fluticasone and salmeterol oral inhaler)
- Suprax (cefixime) vs. Augmentin
- dextromethorphan liquid - oral, Benylin, Creomulsion, Delsym
- dextromethorphan/decongestant/antihistamine - oral
- guaifenesin and phenylephrine, Sudafed PE Non-Drying Sinus Caplets, (Entex, discontinued)
- Suprax (cefixime) vs. cefpodoxime
- Suprax (cefixime) vs. Rocephin (ceftriaxone)
- Suprax (cefixime) vs. ofloxacin
- cefaclor (Raniclor)
- guaifenesin/theophylline/pseudoephedrine elixir - oral, Broncomar-1
- guaifenesin/pseudoephedrine - oral, Duratuss, Maxifed
- guaifenesin/phenylephrine - oral, Endal, Numonyl, Sinupan
Prevention & Wellness
- Health Tip: Preventing Bronchitis
- Heavy Smog as Bad as Pack-a-Day Smoking for Lungs
- VA Doctors Prescribing Unnecessary Antibiotics, Study Says
- Daily Aspirin Might Ease COPD Flare-Ups
- Health Tip: Identifying Symptoms of Bronchitis
- Health Tip: Caring for Bronchitis
- Vaping Medical Pot May Not Ease COPD Symptoms: Study
- More Than 40% of Americans Breathe Dirty Air: Report
- What Really Works to Fight a Stubborn Cough?
- Kids' Colds Linked to Asthma, Lung Problems Later
- Regular Use of Bleach Linked to COPD
- Steroid Pills Usually Ineffective Against Bronchitis, Study Finds
- First-Try Antibiotics Now Fail in 1 in 4 Adult Pneumonia Cases
- Vitamin D Linked to Lower Risk of Respiratory Infections
- Politics Behind CDC's Cancellation of Climate Change Conference, Experts Say
- Former President George H.W. Bush Hospitalized
- Hot Chili Peppers May Extend Life: Study
- Is It a Cold or the Flu? Here's How to Tell
- Retail Health Clinics Fail to Curb Routine ER Visits, Study Finds
- CDC Reveals Top 5 Causes of Death
- A New Antibiotic to the Rescue?
- Too Many People Still Take Unneeded Antibiotics: Study
- Cleaner Air in California May Mean Healthier Kids: Study
- Smog's Health Effects Persist for Decades, Study Finds
- Blood Test Might Predict When Antibiotics Won't Help
- No Antibiotics for Common Respiratory Infections: Experts
- Health Tip: Air Pollution Can Harm Your Health
- Health Tip: Who Gets Pneumonia?
- Health Tip: Easing the Discomfort of Bronchitis
- Health Tip: Secondhand Smoke Poses Danger
- Doctors May Play Big Role in Antibiotic Overuse: Study
- Antibiotics Myths Still Common Among Parents
- That Lingering Cough Could Be Bronchitis
- Rural Poor Bear Higher Burden of COPD, Study Finds
- More Evidence of Long-Term Illness in 9/11 Responders
- COPD Takes Big Toll on Employment, Mobility in U.S.
- 'Ground Zero' Workers at Risk of Autoimmune Diseases: Study
- Healthy Diet May Be Linked to Lower Risk of Lung Disease
- About 1 in 7 Older Adults Has Some Form of Lung Disease: CDC
- Nearly Half of Older Adults With Asthma, COPD Still Smoke: CDC
- Smoking-Related Illnesses in U.S. Total 14 Million, Report Finds
- Common Respiratory Diseases Tied to Lung Cancer Risk
- Annual COPD Costs To Hit $49 Billion by 2020: CDC
- Study Finds Many Flu Patients Not Treated Appropriately
- Obesity May Raise Risk of COPD
- Diet Tied to Better Breathing in COPD Patients
- Heat Waves Could Worsen COPD Symptoms, Study Suggests
- Climate Change Will Make Breathing in Summer Harder: Study
- Exercise May Curtail COPD Complications
- Health Tip: Do You Have Bronchitis?
- ERs Not Curbing Overuse of Antibiotics, Study Reveals
- When a Common Cold Becomes More Dangerous for Kids
- Cancer Patients Vulnerable to Complications From Flu
- Anoro Ellipta Approved for COPD
- Former President George H.W. Bush to Stay in Hospital Through Weekend
- Former President George H.W. Bush Hospitalized With Bronchitis
- Health Tip: Treating Bronchitis
- Cough Medicine and Cough Syrups
- Health Highlights: Dec. 15, 2011
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