Q. I have a severe cough, runny nose, body ache, chest tightness, breathing difficulty, and I am COVID negative. What else could it be?

Answered by
Dr. Arpit Varshney
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 10, 2022

Hello doctor,

I had flu two weeks ago, and I quickly got over it. Then, I started getting a severe cough a few days back, which rapidly got worse; I have wheezing, breathing difficulty, runny nose, severe headache, body ache, chest tightness, and my ears are blocked. I feel exhausted but find it hard to get sleep due to breathing difficulty. I underwent a COVID test, lateral flow, and PCR which came negative. The mucus is green in color. What could it be?

Please help.



Welcome to

I have read your query and understand it.

Your symptoms seem like you have developed bronchitis (inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tube that carries the air to and from the lungs) secondary to the viral flu. Sometimes in cases of viral flu, there is superadded bacterial infection, which can cause secondary lower respiratory tract infections like pneumonia (inflammation of the air sacs in the lungs) and bronchitis. So I suggest you to,

1) Get a chest X-ray done,

2) Start with the antibiotics. Take tablet Cefixime 200 mg twice daily and tablet Levoflox (Levofloxacin) 750 mg once daily for seven days. Also, use Asthalin (Salbutamol Sulphate) 100 mcg inhaler twice daily. This will help with breathing difficulty and chest tightness.

3) Take cough expectorants like Bro-Zedex LS (Bromhexine 4 mg, Guaifenesin 50 mg, Menthol 2.5 mg, Terbutaline 1.25 mg) two teaspoons twice daily.

Continue these for seven days, and you will be completely fine.

I hope this helps.

Kindly revert for further queries.

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