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-coloured, 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
Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Christine Hahn MD - Epidemiology

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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