Cough with common cold (URI)? Lasts a LONG time.

Cough with common cold (URI)? Lasts a LONG time.

January 29, 2017

Most Americans surveyed will guess that a common cold cough should disappear after one week (7 days).

However, the AVERAGE duration of cough is 18 days!! In fact even by 28 days (4 wks), 1 out of 4 Americans will still have some residual cough.

So when should an otherwise healthy person worry?

  1. Double dip or roller coaster course: worsening cold symptoms x 3-7 days, then improve for a few days, then worsen again.
  2. NEW fever after the first week, after the initial round of fevers for the first several days have resolved.
  3. Severe illness or short of breath/cannot get enough oxygen.
  4. Failure to have at least SOME of your total symptoms (congestion, runny nose, sore throat, cough) BEGIN to improve by 7-10 days.

Sadly, none of the $Millions spend each yr in the cough/cold aisle at the drug store significantly help

The BEST evidence is for bee honey (after age 1 yo).

It is important to remember that cough is actually desirable. God gave us cough to get rid of the sticky mucus in our lungs caused by viral infections. If that mucus is NOT coughed up, then good chance bacteria can set up a more serious infection like pneumonia. I take care of some patients with disabilities who are unable to cough, and surprise….they get recurring pneumonia infections and end up in the hospital more often. Pneumonia is serious. It is the #1 cause of death worldwide in children and in the USA, it is the #8 cause of death for all Americans.