Q. What could cause inflamed bronchi, chest heaviness, fever, and cough other than COVID?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Zubayer Alam
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 14, 2021

Hello doctor,

I am a 27-year-old male. For the past three weeks, I have had chest pain, heaviness, occasional cough, and a fever of 99°F (37.2°C) with a headache. I did a chest x-ray, and my doctor said that my bronchi are a little inflamed. He thought I had had COVID, but I was tested negative all the time. What should I do to relieve my symptoms?

Kindly help.



Welcome to

Thank you for the query. I can understand your concern. According to your statement, you have been suffering from chest pain, heaviness, occasional cough, mild fever, and headache for the last three weeks.

According to your chest x-ray reports that are provided here, increased or prominent pulmonary vascularity is seen (attachments removed to protect the patient’s identity). High pulmonary vascularity may result from the acute respiratory syndrome, infection, inflammation, and many more. I suggest you do HRCT (high-resolution computed tomography) of the chest to exclude consolidation due to any respiratory infection like pneumonia.

It is advisable to do HRCT of chest, widal test, an echocardiogram to find out the exact underlying causes for your present sufferings and then treat them accordingly.

In the meantime, kindly take broad-spectrum antibiotics like Cefixime, antihistamines like Fexofenadine, leukotriene receptor antagonists like Montelukast to subside your cough and fever.

Nowadays, it is possible for RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) to fail in detecting COVID-19 (CoronavirusDisease-2019) infection. In such cases, HRCT of the chest is recommended to exclude COVID infection or pneumonia.

Take care.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your time and comprehensive answer. I shall do a CT scan of the chest to rule out anything serious.

I had mononucleosis three years ago, but every year since then, I have had mild fever and chest (sternum) pain for a week. This time, it is lasting for more than a week, and so, I am worried. I have done a full EBV panel and waiting for the results to see if the virus is reactivated.

By the way, I have never had COVID. I have recently done SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgM antibody tests, and they came negative. So, I am pretty sure that it is not due to COVID. My SpO2 is 98 to 99%. And I never had a history of pneumonia in my life.

Thank you for the drug recommendations.



Welcome back to

Thank you for joining again. Yes, you are right. Once you were infected with Epstein Barr virus, you will carry this virus for life long. In some cases, this virus may reactivate. Some triggering factors like weak immune system, medications especially that can cause immunosuppression, stress, hormonal changes may stimulate its reactivation. But, reactivated Epstein Barr virus can rarely cause serious illness in patients who are immunocompromised like AIDS (acquired immunodeficincy syndrome). Usually 90% patients may carry antibodies from the past infections of Epstein barr virus that may be detected during a blood test for EBV antibodies. According to your present complications and chest x-ray films you may suffer from any type of respiratory infections or diseases that can be confirmed by HRCT of chest.

Before starting treatment, the exact cause for your present sufferings should be detected first. If you suffer from any type of bacterial infections or respiratory diseases, then the above mentioned medications will be helpful to subside your symptoms. Again, if you suffer from any type of viral infections like Epstein Barr virus infection, then antibiotics like Cefixime should be used to prevent any secondary infections. Fexofenadine and Montelukast will help to subside your occasional cough. Nothing has confirmed yet. So, do not worry.

Take care.

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