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Guideline on how to promote self-care: Cough

Basic information about Cough

A cough is a reflex mechanism to clear the airways of mucus and irritants such as dust or smoke.

In the absence of significant co‐morbidity, an acute cough is normally benign and self‐limiting. This document refers to cough only as minor self-limited condition, and not as a symptom associated with chronic diseases (COPD, asthma, etc.), in which cough usual is part of a medical condition. Acute cough is most commonly caused by a viral upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) due to a cold.

Most coughs clear up within three weeks and don’t require any treatment. Also children usually do not need to go see their GP, even if the child has a mild cough for a week or two. In both cases for more persistent coughs, patients should be advised to visit their GP so they can investigate the cause [1].