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Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchi, the airways that branch out from the trachea (wind pipe) into the lungs. The inflammation can be caused by viruses, bacteria and other particles which irritate the bronchi.The symptoms include persistent cough lasting for more than 5 days, wheezing, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, headache, fever and chills. Bronchitis is of two types: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is characterized by cough that lasts around three weeks. Chronic bronchitis is defined by cough that lasts for three months or more per year for at least two years.
The underlying causes of bronchitis include tobacco smoke, dust, air pollution and low resistance. The prevention of bronchitis should, therefore, include abstaining from tobacco smoking and avoiding secondary smoke, washing hand frequently to reduce the risk of infection, boosting immunity and wearing a mask when in areas with high air pollution.
Treatment of bronchitis includes drinking lots of water, getting plenty of rest and using over the counter medication to relieve pain and cough.