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Persistent Cough

If you have a persistent or chronic cough, it may be a sign of an underlying illness or condition. Visit a medical provider for help diagnosing your cough for proper treatment.

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Why do I have a persistent cough?

Even if you have no other symptoms, a cough that lasts longer than a few weeks may mean you have a condition or illness, like asthma or acid reflux. If your cough won’t go away, it is best to seek the help of a medical provider for a diagnosis.

  • Stay hydrated, drinking plenty of fluids

  • Soothe your irritated throat with a humidifier or vaporizer

  • Try natural, over the counter products that contain aloe or menthol

  • Eat a small spoonful of honey before bed (not for children under 12 months)

Does my cough mean I am sick?

Your cough may be a sign that:

  • You have an illness or chronic condition

  • You previously had an illness and are still recovering

While you may not feel sick, a persistent or lingering cough should be properly diagnosed by a medical professional.

While there are several similar symptoms, the flu (influenza) tends to be more severe than a cold. Common symptoms include:

  • Chills

  • Cough and/or chest discomfort

  • Fatigue or weakness for up to 2-3 weeks

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • General aches and pains

  • Runny nose

  • Sore throat

COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, ranging from mild to severe. Possible symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis. It is characterized by a severe cough followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like a “whoop.”

Early symptoms include:

  • Low-grade fever

  • Runny nose

  • Cough

  • Red, watery eyes

  • Nasal congestion

After about a week or two symptoms worsen, including:

  • Vomiting

  • Red or blue in the face

  • Extreme fatigue

  • A high-pitched “whoop” sound when taking a breath of air

Swelling in the airways that leads to problems breathing is called croup. This may result in high-pitched or whistling type sounds when they breathe in. Symptoms include:

  • A runny and stuffy nose with a slight cough

  • A cough that sounds like a “bark”

  • Fever

  • Losing their voice

When should you visit urgent care for persistent or lingering cough diagnosis and treatment?

If you or your child are not feeling well and display any of the symptoms listed above, it is best to seek medical attention for a proper diagnosis. Check in online or walk in to a WellNow location nearest you.

This medical information has been reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Robert Biernbaum, Chief Medical Officer for WellNow Urgent Care.

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Symptoms We Treat

WellNow Urgent Care is dedicated to help you feel better, faster. Our dedicated medical team employs a comprehensive approach to treat your symptoms — as well as any illnesses or injuries they may stem from — to help you get better, faster.

This list contains our most commonly treated illnesses and symptoms. If you are
experiencing an illness not listed or are unsure of the source of your discomfort, visit a
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