Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Expert Forum
Chest infection
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Chest infection

Male, 50, Eugene - OR, member since Dec 2008
50 yr old male, smoker. Picked up a cold visiting in Chicago. Cold has turned into a chest infection (productive cough, foul tasting, yellow/green to dark green lumpy mucous). Chest burns. Coughing causes terrible headache. No history of headache or "smokers cough". Accompanied by cold sores on mouth. Slight temperature of 100 degrees (normal 98.6).  
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You are correct to conclude that you have a chest infection, either bronchitis or pneumonia.  The characteristics of the mucus you are raising strongly suggests a bacterial infection, almost certainly one that would respond to antibiotic therapy and, without such therapy, might worsen and the worsening could be sudden.  The fever is not of a degree one would expect with a bad infection and/or pneumonia but the headache is worrisome because some infectious pneumonias can spread to other parts of the body, including the sinuses and central nervous system.

If you have not shown significant improvement by the time you receive this message, I strongly recommend that you contact your doctor.  Should he/she not be available, go to the nearest hospital-associated urgent care center for examination, a complete blood count, sputum smear and culture, blood cultures if you are no better and your fever is 102 or higher, and a chest x-ray.

Good luck.
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