What is a cough?

A cough is a natural reflex involving breathing and muscle contractions. A cough helps your body heal, protect itself and clear your throat and airways of irritants and mucus. There are three types of cough:

  • Acute cough, which begins suddenly and lasts 2-3 weeks
  • Subacute cough (also called persistent cough), which stays after an infection and lasts 3-8 weeks
  • Chronic cough, which lasts longer than 8 weeks

Who is more likely to experience a cough?

Anyone can get a cough. Cough is the most common symptom reported in the offices of healthcare providers.

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