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What is the cause of yellow phlegm?

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The cause of yellow phlegm can be due to different types of chest infections that include bronchitis or pneumonia, notes the National Health Service. Chest infections can occur after a bad cold and can present other symptoms besides coughing up phlegm. For example, bronchitis symptoms can include a fever and a chronic cough that can last a few weeks, reports the Mayo Clinic.

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Pneumonia can present similar symptoms and other like chest pain when trying to breathe and appetite loss. The difference between these two conditions is that bronchitis is typically caused by a virus, while pneumonia is caused by a bacterial infection. Because antibiotic are used to treat bacterial infections, it is not effective for bronchitis, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, a treatment option for patients that are hospitalized for pneumonia can be antibiotics, oxygen therapy and the use of intravenous fluids. relates the National Institute of Health.

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