College Student Health Quiz

7. How long do most coughs last after a respiratory virus (like a cold)?

ANSWER: C. 2-3 weeks

Coughs last much longer than people expect, but a dry cough by itself does NOT mean that you need antibiotics! Most coughs after a cold will resolve within three weeks, but a cough CAN persist up to 6 weeks. As long as your cough is slowly getting better (not keeping you from sleeping, no fevers), you are following the expected course. Taking OTC (over-the-counter) cough suppressants that contain dextromethorphan (DM) often helps.
[See “Can’t Stop Coughing?”]

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