SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Bronchitis, a very persistent cough, is popping up around the Ozarks this week.
When someone comes down with bronchitis their airways are inflamed making it hard to breath.
Patients could have a fever along with shortness of breath and a cough that doesn't go away.
If you have a persistent cough for more than 48 hours, doctors say that is a good indicator it could be bronchitis and you should set up an appointment to see your doctor.
"The thing about bronchitis is its inflammation," explains Ven Vu, a nurse practitioner with the Ozarks Community Hospital. "A simple cough could be irritation to what's in the air and environment, but with bronchitis you have a fever, constant coughing, and nothing over the counter will relieve it."
Vu says anyone can get bronchitis but there are a couple groups of people who can come down with the sickness more than others.
Smokers or people who have lung conditions such as COPD are at a much higher risk of getting bronchitis.
There are two types of bronchitis.
Acute bronchitis only lasts a few days, but chronic bronchitis can last for two years.
According to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 9.9 million people are living with chronic bronchitis.