Coughing Even Weeks After Infection? Here’s What Researchers Say

Post-infectious cough affects 11-25% of adults after a respiratory illness, lasting 3-8 weeks. It can arise due to inflammatory reaction, mucous production, and bronchial sensitivity. Medications like inhaled corticosteroids and bronchodilators have little evidence supporting their effectiveness. In most cases, the cough resolves on its own without medication. Coughs lasting over 8 weeks may require further assessment for conditions like asthma or COPD. Signs such as coughing up blood, systemic symptoms, swallowing difficulty, shortness of breath, or hoarseness are concerning. Patients should seek medical attention if experiencing persistent cough, recurrent pneumonia, or prolonged smoking history. Doctors should reassure patients and avoid unnecessary prescriptions.

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