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The medical definition of acute means - of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness that is of short duration, rapidly progressive, and in need of urgent care.
Acute bronchitis, also known as a chest cold, is short-term inflammation of the bronchi (large and medium-sized airways) of the lungs. The most common symptom is a cough. Other symptoms include coughing up mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, fever, and chest discomfort.