Causes, Treatment, and When to See a Doctor


Karen Peterson of Seattle started feeling fluish right after Thanksgiving, with sniffles, aches, cough, and feverish discomfort. About six days later, she was feeling better, but an annoying cough kept hanging on for about three weeks.

“I would often just start coughing when I was dropping off to sleep, which can be especially annoying,” says Peterson. “When I went to a movie theater, I had this irresistible urge to cough, but I didn’t want to disturb anybody.”

Although her cough mostly went away by mid-January, she has still been experiencing an occasional tickle in the throat.

Reports of nagging coughs like Peterson’s have been more common lately, as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data indicates cases of respiratory illnesses such as flu and COVID have been on the rise.


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