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COVID-19 leftovers: Understand why your cough doesn’t stop and when you should be concerned – Side – Estado

Whether as evidence of a clinical diagnosis, or just an uncomfortable trace of COVID-19Cough continues to raise suspicion in the population. After all, when do you know when to worry about these symptoms? How do you get better soon? To answer these questions, experts explain the origin of cough in the body and even its role in highlighting potentially serious respiratory diseases.

According to Arnaldo Lichtenstein, General Practitioner at Hospital das Clinicas, School of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo (HCFMUSP), coughing is a protective mechanism of the body. “When you choke on something, there is a discharge (For example sputum caused by infection), contains water in the lungs due to heart failure, all this is interpreted as a foreign factor for the body, and it must be eliminated,” he explains.

As common as the symptom appears, the doctor stresses that a search for specialized care cannot be ruled out. According to him, any cough lasting more than 8 weeks should prompt an investigation, including cases of patients who have recently recovered from Covid-19. “If the cough continues for a long time, or if you start to have a discharge that you did not have, or if that secretion begins to turn a darker color (If it is white and is starting to become more yellow or green), is also a reason to see a doctor.”

Why is coughing usually an effect of COVID-19?

Pulmonologist Valeria Maria Augusto, Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), draws attention to the fact that some people infected with covid-19 may have pre-existing chronic diseases of an allergic nature, the symptoms of which are caused by the new infection. In other words, the factor of the viral infection, whether it was the Corona virus, influenza or others, was only a catalyst for the exacerbation of this inflammation in the airways that he had been suffering for so long.

Seeking medical attention in these cases will be a case-by-case decision. “It will depend on the severity of the cough, the extent of the anxiety, limiting or causing insufficient sleep. Sometimes, symptoms can cause incontinence, which can be very troublesome,” says the pulmonologist. In such cases, cough medicine will help relieve the patient’s discomfort.

Regarding the appropriate forms of treatment for cough control, the doctor advises caution. “You can’t generalize a cough remedy,” he says. “Antitussives and mucus and expectorant lozenges prescribed or recommended by aunts, grandparents, pharmacists, and neighbours, in my opinion, are not recommended.” Valeria explains that it is essential to know in depth why this cough persists, which is not achieved by superficial treatment of symptoms without proper medical guidance.

“The cause of the cough can only be diagnosed with a careful clinical history of its sequence, how it started, how it progressed, and what its main characteristics are in terms of duration, frequency and intermittency,” she says. Thus, symptoms can be indicative of a self-limiting virus, which will go away on its own in less than two weeks, or PneumoniaAnd the asthmaAnd the tuberculosis or even a tumor.

Are we more susceptible to respiratory diseases?

“The short, hard answer is yes,” the pulmonologist answers. “Social isolation protects us from infectious respiratory diseases.” This can be demonstrated by the reduction of nearly 75% of hospitalizations in children due to respiratory diseases in São Paulo in April 2020 alone, according to the Department of Immunization of the Children’s Association of São Paulo (SPSP). In Belo Horizonte, the SUS Hospitalization System (SIH) recorded a 28% decrease in hospitalizations for respiratory illnesses (other than COVID-19), in March and July of the same year.

According to the doctor, in the current phase of the pandemic, where restrictive measures such as social distancing are being relaxed, it is necessary to strike a new balance between isolation and exposure. On the one hand, it reinforces the importance of the habit of wearing masks in gatherings and in other circumstances that facilitate infection. On the other hand, it highlights the role of these exposures in the development of the body’s resistance. “There is an opportunity to challenge your immunity to produce antibodies, and to manufacture defenses,” he concludes.

Causes of acute and subacute cough

1- Viral infection of the upper respiratory tract

It usually affects the nose, throat, and airways and usually disappears within 7 to 10 days. Symptoms include a sore or sore throat, sneezing, stuffy nose, and coughing.

Catch coldA common viral infection of the nose and throat. It can be caused by many different types of viruses. The condition is usually harmless and symptoms usually disappear within two weeks. Symptoms include nasal discharge, sneezing, and congestion.

fluA common viral infection of the nose, throat, and lower airways. It is caused by the influenza virus, which has several subtypes. The condition is usually harmless and symptoms usually disappear within two weeks. Symptoms include body aches, fever, loss of appetite, weakness, nasal discharge, sneezing, congestion, coughing, and mucus production.

2 – Asthma

A condition in which a person’s airways become inflamed, narrow and swell and produce extra mucus, making breathing difficult. Asthma can be mild or interfere with daily activities. It can cause difficulty breathing, chest pain, coughing, and wheezing.

3- Chronic cough

A cough that lasts 3 weeks or more can be caused by a range of illnesses, ranging from asthma, sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, COPD, tuberculosis, pulmonary fibrosis, collagen-related lung disease (rheumatoid arthritis, for example) and lung cancer. . They should always prompt medical advice.


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