The lungs are responsible for the essential process of respiration. These cone-shaped organs expand and contract to deliver oxygen to the body. They also remove carbon dioxide, a waste gas, from the blood. As with most body parts, however, issues such as bacterial or viral infections can compromise them. Depending on the specific cause, affected individuals may require prompt medical treatment to avoid serious complications.
Acute bronchitis is a lower respiratory infection. The bronchi—the airways of the lungs—become inflamed, leading to what is often referred to as a chest cold, and symptoms including a sore throat, wheezing, cough with mucus, shortness of breath, and fever. While viruses are the most common culprits, acute bronchitis can also result from bacteria or irritants such as tobacco smoke. In most cases, the condition is self-limiting and does not require treatment.
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