Is it Bronchitis or Pneumonia? Comparing Symptoms of Each

PneumoniaHave you ever felt like you had a cold that you just couldn’t shake? It seemed you did everything possible under the sun from drinking a river of fluids, getting plenty of rest, even taking vitamin C and you still had a sore throat, nagging cough and felt unusually sluggish and feverish. It’s possible you didn’t have a cold, but rather pneumonia or even bronchitis.

But because they share such similar symptoms, how can you tell the difference between the two illnesses?

Let’s take a closer look.

Causes of Bronchitis and Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs; bronchitis is an infection of the airways that lead to the lungs. Bronchitis can occur after a viral illness, such as the cold or flu and it is usually viral, meaning that antibiotics are not helpful with treatment. Some individuals with bronchitis are at an increased risk for getting pneumonia, which is usually more severe.

Symptoms of Bronchitis and Pneumonia

Although both illness have bothersome symptoms, people with pneumonia usually feel a lot worse than those with bronchitis.


Bronchitis- Painful, persistent dry cough at first. May produce mucus after a few days.

Pneumonia- Wet, productive cough that often brings up mucus from the lungs. The cough is frequently painful.


Bronchitis- Phlegm may be clear, yellow, green or even tinged with blood.

Pneumonia- Mucus may be green, rusty or tinged with blood.


Bronchitis- Typically a fever is mild or not present at all.

Pneumonia- Fevers are often higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.


Bronchitis- It can resolve with one to three weeks, but the cough may linger for weeks or months.

Pneumonia- May last longer than two to three weeks.


Bronchitis- X-rays will usually appear normal.

Pneumonia- X-rays will usually appear abnormal.

Other Symptoms

Bronchitis- Sore throat, chest pain, chest congestion, wheezing, body aches.

Pneumonia- Chills, shaking, fast heart rate, headache.

Am I Contagious?

One of the most common questions about pneumonia and bronchitis is if it is contagious.

Is Pneumonia Contagious?

Pneumonia is usually caused by an infection, most commonly bacteria and viruses, which are both contagious. The germs are usually breathed in from coughing and sneezing or touching an object and transferring the germs.

Is Bronchitis Contagious?

Since acute bronchitis is usually caused by the cold or flu virus, that makes it just as contagious for a few days to a week. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, is not contagious.

Like the common cold and flu, however, you can prevent the spread of pneumonia and bronchitis by taking hygiene precautions such as washing your hands regularly and using a tissue to cough or sneeze.

Treatment for Pneumonia and Bronchitis

As you can see, pneumonia and bronchitis both cause coughs and have similar symptoms. But they require significantly different treatments and only your health care professional can diagnose your illness to determine what treatment option is right for you. If you or a loved one is experiencing a persistent or severe cough that interferes with daily activities and sleep, have a high fever or your symptoms continue to worsen, visit eMedical Urgent Care immediately.

Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

And remember, after treatment allow yourself time to recover, drink plenty of hydrating fluids and take the prescribed medications through to completion.

Ready to Quit Smoking for Your Health? The Great American Smokeout is the Perfect Time

Quit Smoking For Your HealthNow is the perfect time to quit smoking for your health. Whether it’s a family member or close friend who’s trying to kick the habit or you’re struggling to stop, support can make all the difference.

Thursday, November 17, is the Great American Smokeout, an annual initiative by the American Cancer Society (ACS) to encourage smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By quitting, even for one day, smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life, one that can help lead to reducing health risks, such as cancer.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S. It’s a top contributor to a host of health conditions, from bronchitis and pneumonia to hypertension and cancer. Even knowing these risks, ending smoking habits can be challenging. With a little help from the physicians at eMedical Urgent Care, however, it’s not impossible.

Quit Smoking for Your Health: Immediate and Long-Term Benefits

When someone stops smoking, the benefits can be immediate as well as long-term. In fact, the ACS states that heart rate and blood pressure can drop to normal rates within 20 minutes. And 12 hours later, the carbon monoxide levels in the blood can drop to normal. Fast forward to a couple months later and quitters will begin to see improvements in circulation and lung function. One year after snuffing out their smoking habit, the risks of coronary heart disease are cut in half.

Although the benefits are well known, the challenge of doing so seems daunting to smokers. Getting help through counseling or medications can double or triple the chances of success.

The Great American Smokeout is the Perfect Time to Quit Smoking for Your Health

According to the ACS, 40 million Americans smoke cigarettes; that’s about 1 in every 5 adults. Almost 70% of smokers want to quit, but only 40% try. Of those who make the attempt, only 4% to 7% succeed on their own.  Making the decision to kick the habit is one of the most important steps to quit smoking for good. The Great American Smokeout, held annually on the third Thursday in November, gives smokers an opportunity to consider making this lifesaving change.

For more information, The American Cancer Society offers a guide to quitting smoking .

Quit Smoking for Your Health with eMedical Urgent Care in New Jersey

Life is short, and for those who smoke, quitting returns precious years and vitality.

Open 7 days a week, including holidays, both of our medical offices in Middletown, NJ and Berkeley Heights, NJ offer walk-in immediate urgent care treatment. Contact us today with any questions.

Is it Pneumonia?

Is it Pneumonia?If you or a loved one are experiencing coughing paired with a fever, nausea and other symptoms, you could be suffering from pneumonia. Commonly the result of a cold or upper respiratory infection, pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs and the symptoms can vary from mild to severe.

Not sure if you’re experiencing symptoms of pneumonia? Our medical team at eMedical Urgent Care can pinpoint the root of your illness and find a treatment that works best for you. It’s also helpful to understand what it is, what causes it and how to recognize the symptoms. Let’s take a look:

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection of one or both of your lungs causing the inflammation in the passages that carry air into your lungs. These airways get filled with fluid, making it hard to breathe.

What are the Causes of Pneumonia?

Pneumonia may occur because of exposure to a bacteria, virus, or fungus. For example, bacterial pneumonia is contracted simply from breathing infected air particles from the mouth, throat or nose into the lungs.

“Community acquired pneumonia” may occur from exposure at school or work and “healthcare acquired pneumonia” may occur from exposure in a hospital setting.

Additionally, your lungs may also become infected if you breathe in (aspirated) contaminant particles into your lungs, such as stomach contents from vomiting or have had exposure to hazardous materials.

Who is at Risk?

If your immune system was already weakened from medications or another illness, such as the flu, you could be at a higher risk. Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, children under the age of 2 and adults over the age of 65 are also more likely to get pneumonia.

Is Pneumonia Contagious?

Pneumonia, in itself, is not contagious, but viruses and bacteria that can lead to pneumonia often are contagious.

What are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?

  • Fever with chills
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • “Wet” cough with fever
  • Mucus that appears rusty or green, maybe bloody
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Each type of pneumonia is treated differently. At eMedical Urgent Care, you can trust our medical professionals to provide you with a reliable diagnosis and treatment for pneumonia. We will assess your condition by doing a physical exam and ordering an X-ray or blood test, if necessary, to help formulate the diagnosis.

eMedical Urgent Care in New Jersey

Searching for a place to get convenient urgent care in Middletown, NJ or Berkeley Heights, NJ? Since 1984, our physicians have been building relationships with families within the communities we serve and are here to help! At eMedical Urgent Care, it’s our mission to offer immediate care for a wide range of medical needs, from flu shots to fractures and neck pain to pneumonia, our experienced providers can diagnose and treat you quickly.

Open 7 days a week, including holidays, both of our medical offices have onsite diagnostic equipment, including laboratory and X-ray services. Walk-in for immediate care or contact us today with any questions.

Top 10 Most Googled Medical Symptoms in 2015

Popular Medical Symptom Searched in 2015Googling is generally used for looking up pretty much anything, from finding directions to researching medical symptoms. Google recently released its annual summary of what the U.S. searched for this past year. Among the top trending searches from January to November 2015 included Lamar Odom, Jurassic World, American Sniper, Caitlyn Jenner and Ronda Rousey.

Google is also a popular first-stop for looking up symptoms. In fact, one in 20 Google searches are for health-related information. Although if you have a medical concern, there is no substitute for a consultation with one of eMedical’s highly trained, board-certified emergency medicine physicians. Though for your typical hypochondriac, online symptom checkers are quite popular.

In 2015, people searched for medical symptoms including the flu, gallbladder infections, measles, listeria, sinus infections, Ebola and more.  Users commonly seek out relevant medical information about common conditions including symptoms, treatment and prevention.

Top Searched Medical Symptoms

Below are the 10 most searched for symptoms this year, according to Google.

  1. Flu
  2. Gallbladder infection
  3. Measles
  4. Listeria
  5. Sinus infection
  6. Gastritis
  7. Anxiety attack
  8. H. Pylori infection
  9. Heat stroke
  10. Lactose intolerance

Top Searched Health-Related Questions

Below are those popular burning questions that users searched for this past year:

  1. “Is bronchitis contagious?”
  2. “Is pneumonia contagious?
  3. “How much water should I drink?”
  4. “How many calories should I eat?”
  5. “What is lupus?”
  6. “How far along am I?”
  7. “When do you ovulate?”
  8. “What is gluten?”
  9. How long does the flu last?

Medical Symptom Search Results

If you’ve ever woken up with a stomach ache wondering if it was something you ate or possibly the flu and start typing your symptoms into your go-to search engine, suddenly you start feeling worse and the worry spikes immediately. In fact, according to a new study led by researchers at the Harvard Medical School, many search results can be so inconsistent and inaccurate that patients shouldn’t rely upon them for correct diagnoses. Simple symptoms can be misconstrued by “cyberchondriacs,” those who misdiagnose their illnesses after looking up their symptoms online, resulting in unnecessary anxiety.

Patients should only use online symptom checkers as a starting point. Self-diagnosis can be dangerous; it is better to have a conversation with your doctor. But if you must browse, make sure the sites you visit for health advice are reputable and vetted by medical experts. Cleveland ClinicMayo Clinic, and The Centers for Disease control and Prevention all have legit and easy-to-find information.

eMedical Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic

Your best bet is to visit eMedical Urgent Care; our emergency medicine physicians provide urgent medical care to both adults and children with convenient hours designed to fit your busy schedule. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you and your family by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

Should I Bring My Child to a Walk In Clinic for the Flu?

Should I Bring My Child to a Walk In Clinic for the Flu?It’s pretty much a given that our children will pick up the flu at some point throughout the school year from all the coughing and sniffling students in their classrooms. So, how does a parent know when to bring their child into a walk-in clinic for the flu or a terrible cold?

The flu and colds are both caused by viruses (not bacteria), so symptoms may last four or five days then you could be on your way to recovery. That said, both illnesses can morph into more serious conditions, including sinus infection, bronchitis, pneumonia, and strep throat.

Drive to an eMedical Urgent Care walk in clinic near you if your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent sinus pressure
  • Worsening sore throat
  • Cough followed by yellow or green phlegm
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Ear pain
  • High fever

Walk-In Clinic vs ER

Severe influenza problems are most common in children under 2 years. In addition, children with chronic health problems like asthma, diabetes and disorders of the brain or nervous system are at especially high risk of developing serious flu complications. How do you know when it’s better to go to an urgent care center versus the ER? Read more about the common emergency room and walk-in clinic differences on our recent blog post, “Walk-In Doctor’s Office vs ER [INFOGRAPHIC].”

Protect Yourself from the Flu Virus

Flu shots are your best protection against the flu epidemic. And because the influenza virus(es) changes every season, it’s important to get your child vaccinated every year. Take your child for regular check-ups and stay up to date on their immunizations. Protect yourself and your family; talk with the pediatric-trained doctors at eMedical Urgent Care about the benefits of getting the flu vaccine to keep your child healthy.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you can do more to fight the flu with a few healthy steps.

How do you know if it’s the flu, food poisoning, allergies or the common cold?

Symptoms of the flu usually develop within two days of exposure, but a person can spread the virus before they begin to develop symptoms. The common cold is a respiratory illness that can be caused by many different viral infections. I’s often confused with the flu. There is no cure for the common cold or for the influenza virus. There are, however, treatments available to lessen the severity of the symptoms.

As a parent, how can you tell if your child is dealing with a bout of food poisoning or the onset of the flu? They both have very similar symptoms. A doctor at your local urgent care office should be able to help you determine from which he or she is suffering, but always assume your child contagious and take the proper precautions.

It can also be difficult to differentiate between the common cold and allergies. Parents should be on the lookout for specific symptoms covered in our recent blog post, “Is Your Child Suffering from the Common Cold or Seasonal Allergies?

Get Medical Treatment Right Away

Most of our pediatric physicians are parents too, so we understand the importance of keeping our tiny humans happy and healthy. After school, or on weekends, we‘re here. Patients are seen on a walk-in basis without appointment. Our convenient hours are designed to fit your schedule. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.