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Rosina asked...

I have a cough that will not shift.

Tags: respiratory

I caught a common cold three weeks ago and had a cough that doesn't seem to go away. My upper chest feels very tight and I have terrible bouts of coughing fits that get worse as the day goes on. Tried different cough mixtures.

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The answer

It is not uncommon to get an infective cough and associated rib strain which can go on for weeks. Often this starts with just a head cold, which then progresses to the chest with forceful bouts of coughing. Most often the upper airway and nasal symptoms are caused by a respiratory tract viral infection and will clear in time, but if the cough is worsening after this length of time it may be that you have a bacterial infection which would need antibiotics to resolve. If the symptoms are worsening after three weeks I would certainly recommend you see your doctor to get checked over. If you have a wheeze or associated shortness of breath it is possible you could also have asthma, which can come on at any stage in life.

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