Symptoms A-Z

Cough With Bloody-streaked Phlegm Symptom, Causes & Questions

Understand your cough with bloody-streaked phlegm symptoms, including 6 causes & common questions.

This symptom can also be referred to as: coughing up streaks of blood

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  1. 6 Possible Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

6 Possible Cough With Bloody-Streaked Phlegm Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced cough with bloody-streaked phlegm. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.


Acute bronchitis is an inflammatory reaction to an infection in the airways. Most cases of acute bronchitis are caused by a viral infection, although some cases may be due to a bacterial infection.

Symptoms include an acute-onset cough with or without sputum production, low-grade fever,(, and noisy breathing.

The diagnosis is made clinically, although testing may be ordered to rule out other conditions.

Treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms and may include over-the-counter painkillers, cough suppressants, and expectorants. Although antibiotics are often prescribed, antibiotics have been shown to provide no benefit in most cases of acute bronchitis and are associated with an increased risk of side effects.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: cough, productive cough, sore throat, wheezing, coughing up green or yellow phlegm

Symptoms that always occur with bronchitis: cough

Symptoms that never occur with bronchitis: nausea or vomiting

Urgency: Self-treatment

Bacterial pneumonia

Bacterial pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by one of several different bacteria, often Streptococcus pneumoniae. Pneumonia is often contracted in hospitals or nursing homes.

Symptoms include fatigue, fever, chills, painful and difficult breathing, and cough that brings up mucus. Elderly patients may have low body temperature and confusion.

Pneumonia can be a medical emergency for very young children or those over age 65, as well as anyone with a weakened immune system or a chronic heart or lung condition. Emergency room is only needed for severe cases or for those with immune deficiency.

Diagnosis is made through blood tests and chest x-ray.

With bacterial pneumonia, the treatment is antibiotics. Be sure to finish all the medication, even if you start to feel better. Hospitalization may be necessary for higher-risk cases.

Some types of bacterial pneumonia can be prevented through vaccination. Flu shots help, too, by preventing another illness from taking hold. Keep the immune system healthy through good diet and sleep habits, not smoking, and frequent handwashing.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, cough, headache, loss of appetite, shortness of breath

Symptoms that always occur with bacterial pneumonia: cough

Urgency: In-person visit


Tuberculosis, or TB, is a lung infection caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In some cases, it can affect other organs such as the brain or kidneys.

The disease spreads when an infected person exhales, speaks, or coughs and someone else inhales the bacteria. Tuberculosis is not transmitted any other way. Some patients carry TB without ever showing symptoms, though the disease may become active if something happens to weaken the immune system.

Most susceptible are those with weakened immune systems; infected with HIV; living or working in homeless shelters, correctional facilities, or nursing homes; and children under age 5.

Symptoms include severe cough that may bring up sputum and/or blood; chest pain; weakness; weight loss; fever; chills, and night sweats.

Diagnosis is made through skin tests, blood tests, sputum tests, and chest x-ray.

Treatment involves a course of specialized antibiotics under close medical supervision, along with rest and supportive care.

There is a vaccine for tuberculosis, but it is not entirely effective and not routinely given in the United States.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, rib pain, dry cough

Urgency: In-person visit

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Congestive heart failure

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is no longer able to effectively pump blood to the rest of the body. Heart failure can affect the right side, left side, or both sides of the heart. It can be subcategorized as "heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF)" or "heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF)." The ejection fraction is the portion of blood in the heart that gets ejected through the blood vessels to the rest of the body with each pump. HFpEF is a condition in which the fraction of blood in the heart that is pumped with each beat is normal but the ventricle, one of the chambers of the heart, has been stiffened so does not fill with blood as effectively. HFrEF is a condition in which the fraction of blood ejected from the heart with each beat is reduced.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, cough at night, shortness of breath on exertion

Urgency: Primary care doctor


Bronchiectasis is destruction and widening of the large airways. Mucus builds up in these airways and can get infected, causing a pneumonia.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, runny nose, mucous dripping in the back of the throat

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Lung abscess

A lung abscess is a large collection of pus in the tissue of the lungs that results from a bacterial infection. Bacteria that should not normally be found in the lungs causes inflammation that leads to a breakdown of the lung tissue, thus producing the pus.

Symptoms vary depending on whether the abscess is acute or chronic. They may include fever, night sweats, fatigue, weight loss, a cough with mucus or blood, and chest pain when breathing.

Once a diagnosis has been made by an X-ray or further imaging, the main method of treatment is antibiotics to rid the body of infection. Surgery is rarely required.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: coughing up green or yellow phlegm, rib pain that gets worse when breathing, coughing, sneezing, or laughing, night sweats, unintentional weight loss, coughing up a lot of fluid

Urgency: In-person visit

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Cough With Bloody-Streaked Phlegm

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Do you currently smoke?
  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out why you're having cough with bloody-streaked phlegm

Cough With Bloody-Streaked Phlegm Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced cough with bloody-streaked phlegm have also experienced:

  • 8% Cough
  • 5% Sore Throat
  • 4% Coughing Up Green Or Yellow Phlegm

People who have experienced cough with bloody-streaked phlegm were most often matched with:

  • 45% Bacterial Pneumonia
  • 45% Tuberculosis
  • 9% Bronchitis

People who have experienced cough with bloody-streaked phlegm had symptoms persist for:

  • 45% Less than a day
  • 29% Less than a week
  • 12% Over a month

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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