Can covid turn into bronchitis

Covid and Bronchitis

By Nicholas White

Various illnesses may affect the respiratory system and, at the same time, they have common symptoms and signs. Moreover, such viral illnesses as COVID-19 may be a cause of the Bronchitis or pneumonia. Let’s delve into this question and reveal the intricacies of these health conditions.

Can Covid Turn Into Bronchitis?

COVID-19 is caused by a special type of coronavirus. While the virus attacks the body, the immune system responds and does its best to kill the invader. In addition, the virus lingers in the respiratory tract and can cause inflammation with subsequent development of bronchitis or pneumonia.

Moreover, while the body is fighting the virus, other harmful microorganisms can become active and also cause the above-mentioned diseases. In this case, bronchitis can be considered a consequence of COVID, but at the same time it will require treatment with antibiotics.

Covid vs Bronchitis

It is challenging to distinguish COVID and bronchitis and almost impossible to do this without a consultation and examination by a specialist. Let’s compare the symptoms. Thus, COVID is associated with:

  • high temperature;
  • fatigue;
  • sore throat;
  • loss of taste and smell;
  • cough and difficulties in breathing;
  • pain in the body.

The main symptom of bronchitis is cough. In the beginning, it is dry and then gradually mucus appears. In addition, the patient experiences fatigue, high temperature, pain in the chest, problems with breathing and other signs that are common for colds, flu and COVID.

The difference between these diseases lies in the mechanism of their development and possible causes. While COVID attacks the whole body and especially the respiratory tract, bronchitis means the inflammation of the parts that are used for air movement in and out of the body.

Furthermore, COVID may be the cause of bronchitis but this does not work vice versa. Thus, we can assume that bronchitis is one of the possible COVID complications. And if bronchitis appears on its own, it does not lead to COVID. Only those who suffer from chronic bronchitis are more prone to other disease of a similar kind.

How Bronchitis Develops

In addition, we should mention two possible options for bronchitis. This condition can appear suddenly and is called acute. Sometimes it persists and is transformed into a chronic form.


If bronchitis develops rapidly during a few days and before that everything is fine, it is called an acute. It can be caused by various bacteria and viruses that also cause common cold and flu. COVID-19 also has this potency.

Without a proper treatment, acute bronchitis may turn into pneumonia. When the treatment is not sufficient, it may lead to the development of a chronic state.


If the symptoms of this disease do not disappear after a few months or if they keep coming back, chronic bronchitis is diagnosed.

Other reasons for its development include:

  • polluted environment (especially air);
  • smoking;
  • weak immune system;
  • other diseases of the lungs.

The most common symptom is a cough that does not disappear. Other signs may appear from time to time or get worse according to overall health conditions and the influence of the triggers.

How COVID Affects Lungs

This virus attacks the respiratory tract and the lungs and causes inflammatory processes in all the tissues that comprise them. As a result, symptoms similar to the common cold or flu appear. At the same time, the virus attacks the whole body and the immune system. That is why respiratory symptoms may be combined with other conditions and are usually worse than in the case of other illnesses.

Symptoms of COVID-related Bronchitis

If you have COVID, pay attention to the following signs:

  • persistent cough with excess mucus production;
  • chest tightness and pain;
  • shortness of breath and wheezing;
  • high temperature and exhaustion.

They are related to bronchitis and serve as a sign that this condition has developed. If you have any worries or doubts, do not hesitate to contact your healthcare provider and get a proper diagnostics and decision from the specialist.

As far as we can assume the main symptoms of these diseases are quite similar, so it is easy to get confused and select the improper treatment. To avoid this, do not neglect diagnostics and instrumental methods of examination.


To diagnose any illness of the respiratory system, a doctor at first does the physical examination and collects the symptoms that the patient feels and describes. In addition, he can prescribe:

  • chest X-ray or CT scan to reveal bronchial inflammation and check the overall condition of bronchi, lungs and other parts of the respiratory system;
  • sputum test to identify any infections if they present and select the proper antibiotics;
  • blood test to reveal inflammation.

Usually, instrumental methods such as X-ray and CT scans are used as they allow us to identify the exact place of the inflammatory process and understand how the disease influences the body.

In addition, the test for bacteria is also helpful in order to select an antibiotic for treatment. Before its result, the doctor may prescribe a remedy for the wide spectrum of activity but if a microorganism is determined, it’s better to select a special option for a quicker recovery.


A set of medicines is prescribed to treat this condition, namely:

  • over-the-counter remedies such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or naproxen for fever;
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to cure the bronchitis and relieve pain in the chest and other respiratory system, as well as high temperature;
  • medicines for cough treatment according to its state (those that inhibit cough are useful if it is dry and those that stimulate mucus production when it is wet);
  • antibiotics with a wide spectrum of action like Doxycycline to kill the harmful bacteria that usually cause bronchitis and may be activated by the presence of the virus in the body.

In addition, the patient should stay in bed and drink plenty of fluids to help the body to recover faster.

Keep in mind that the exact scheme of the treatment with medicines and their doses is prescribed by a doctor and it is crucial to follow it to get rid of the disease as fast as possible.


To conclude, all the conditions of the respiratory system require careful attention and cure. As their symptoms are quite common, it’s better to visit a doctor at once after the illness has started. Then, the doctor will decide on the appropriate treatment and recommend the scheme and remedies.


What are the warning signs COVID-19 is in your lungs?

If you have a strong and persistent cough, high temperature, pain in the chest and difficulties breathing, it is recommended to visit a doctor immediately.

What does a bronchitis cough sound like?

At first, the sound is hacking and the cough is dry. While the illness progresses, mucus appears and the sound changes to more deep.

Do you need antibiotics for bronchitis?

Yes, in most cases this condition is caused by harmful bacteria that are combated with the help of antibiotics. The medicine and its dose should be selected by a doctor.

Is it bronchitis or pneumonia?

There is no way to determine it on your own. A proper diagnostics with physical and instrumental examination will give the answer.