Patient Education

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Flu: Signs of Bacterial Infection

Topic Overview

A bacterial infection may develop following infection with viral influenza. Signs of a bacterial infection include:

  • Feeling short of breath.
  • A fever that doesn't go away.
  • A cough that lingers more than 7 to 10 days after other symptoms have cleared, especially if it is bringing up mucus (productive).
  • Yellow, green, rust-colored, or bloody mucus that is coughed up from the lungs, especially while other symptoms are getting worse.
  • Sinus, throat, or ear pain that is new or doesn't go away.

These infections may sometimes need treatment with antibiotics.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: February 24, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Christine Hahn MD - Epidemiology

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