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I’m Over This Cold, so Why Am I Still Coughing?

That persistent tickle in your throat doesn’t usually mean you’re still sick. Here’s why cold symptoms can stick around after our bodies have fought off the illness.

You’re finally over that nasty cold, but can’t seem to get rid of the lingering cough it left behind.

Should you be worried?

“Many patients want a cold to last just a couple days, but people can have symptoms for a week or two, or even three, from a simple virus,” Dr. John Dougherty, primary care physician at UCLA Health in Beverly Hills, California, told Healthline.

He explains that symptoms like a cough brought on by a cold virus or infection are as much caused by the condition as they are by the immune system’s response to fighting off the illness.

“You’ll have white blood cells that move to fight off whatever is causing [the illness], so then, even after the cold or flu or virus is eradicated, your body is still resolving that inflammation and can cause persistent symptoms,” said Dougherty.


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