Symptoms of acute bronchitis usually begin 3 to 4 days after an upper respiratory infection, such as a cold or influenza (flu). Symptoms usually include:
- A cough, which is the main symptom of acute bronchitis. It may be dry at first (does not produce mucus) and after a few days may bring up mucus from the lungs (productive cough). The mucus may be clear, yellow, or green. Sometimes, small streaks of blood may be present.
- A mild fever, usually less than 101 F. A higher fever may indicate pneumonia.
- A general feeling of tiredness.
- A sensation of tightness, burning, or dull pain in the chest under the breastbone that usually is worse when breathing deeply or coughing.
- Whistling noises (wheezing) when breathing, especially during physical exertion.