Chronic cough: when to call a doctor

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Make an appointment with your doctor if:

  • A cough lasts two weeks or longer.
  • You experience weight loss.
  • The cough is accompanied by a fever.
  • You cough up phleghm that’s yellow or green.
  • You cough up blood (your phleghm may be pink).
  • You experience shortness of breath.
  • You find it difficult to swallow.

Reviewed by Professor Richard van Zyl-Smit, Head of the Lung Clinical Research Unit at the University of Cape Town. MBChB, MRCP(UK), Dip HIV(Man), MMED, FCP(SA), Cert Pulm(SA), PhD. February 2018.

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