Is cough with chest congestion something to worry about?

Q. Is cough with chest congestion something to worry about?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 21, 2018 and last reviewed on: Oct 21, 2022

Hello doctor,

My mom had cough and cold which continued for a week. We conducted X-ray which indicated too much cough congestion in the chest and TLC count was 18,000. One day, due to too much cough she vomited, and she was injected with a medicine to stop it and it worked. Next day, we went abroad for a week and as soon as we came back, we reconducted the X-ray which still indicates congestion is there and TLC count is now 15,000. But she is getting fever since two days reaching up to 103. Crocin is not reducing it. I am really worried. Is it a viral fever? Or is it because of congestion. I am attaching the prescription and medicines which she is taking as well as the latest blood report.



Welcome to

It is not a viral infection but a bacterial infection as her TLC (total leucocyte count) has increased. Also, diabetic patients are prone to such infection.

Treatment is antibiotics, which she has been started by her physician. In most patients, this resolves with a week. Continue other medicines as prescribed. We should see a response in 24 to 48 hours.

If there is no improvement in fever, cough, or increase in her symptoms like increased shortness of breath, visit a hospital as her antibiotics will need to be escalated and she may need higher IV (intravenous) antibiotics.

If you have electronic BP (blood pressure) apparatus, then monitor BP twice a day. Excessive fall in BP or decreased frequency of urination are some of the warning signs.

Repeat TLC, urea and creatinine test to see antibiotics response. So overall, a majority of the patients recover well but some amount of risk is always there in such infections.

I hope this helps you and get back if you have any doubts.

Thank you doctor,

She has been taking these antibiotics since yesterday (two days now) and her TLC has reduced from 18000 to 15000 now. Every time she coughs, urine passes (she urinates due to coughing every time). She is diabetic. She is feeling very weak too. What is the reason for the fever? Is it the congestion on the chest? What kind of risks are you talking about? Is it something to worry?



Welcome back to

The reason for fever is a chest infection. Chest congestion may occur either due to infection or allergies. But allergies will not cause such high fever. Since her X-ray is normal, it is a mild form of a chest infection.

The risk I mentioned is of worsening of infection, which I think you should not worry about at this stage. We will wait for total 48 hours and see whether there is any fall in fever spikes (whether they are lesser than 103 or not).

Also, the 18k count was a different episode of fever and this a new infection so get her at least TLC repeated from any lab tomorrow so that we will come to know the progression of infection, reducing or worsening.

TLC should come down near 11000 or less. If TLC is rising then we will change and upgrade the antibiotics. And passing urine with coughing is altogether a different issue, which is called as stress incontinence, which can be dealt later. All the best.

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