Consider the following condition:
Hyperemia of the mucous membranes is the earliest change, followed by desquamation, edema, leukocytic infiltration of the submucosa, and production of sticky or mucopurulent exudate. The protective functions of bronchial cilia, phagocytes, and lymphatics are disturbed, and bacteria may invade the normally sterile bronchi, with consequent accumulation of cellular debris and mucopurulent exudate. Cough is essential to eliminate bronchial secretions. Airway obstruction may result from edema of the bronchial walls, retained secretions, and, in some cases, spasm of bronchial muscles.
Does not sound like fun, does it?
The pathology describes acute bronchitis. Acute bronchitis can last 5 to 10 days. It is contagious. For some people, the cough may last as long as a few months.
The best way to avoid acute bronchitis is to wash your hands frequently, get lots of rest, and drink lots of fluids. Acute bronchitis is most commonly caused by viruses or bacteria.
Sadly my wife has been experiencing bronchitis. She has had a tough few weeks. I hope she gets better soon.