is a condition of the lungs characterized by excess mucus, which is brought
up as sputum by a persistent cough. Bronchitis can be acute (caused by a
viral infection) or chronic (usually caused by an environmental irritant,
such as cigarette smoke). With acute bronchitis, you begin to show symptoms
one to four days after exposure to the causative virus; with chronic bronchitis,
you usually show symptoms soon after exposure to the irritant.
A severe case of bronchitis can lower the oxygen level in the blood, leading
to dizziness and confusion. Watch for wheezing and other signals of mild respiratory distress.
Bottom line for deep sea sailors: not serious. Stay the course, stop smoking,
and get medical attention in port.