NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - For those of you battling what seems like a chronic cough for maybe a month or more, you aren't alone.
Physicians with Texas Health Dallas are seeing a spike in such cases, according to a spokesperson. It's a virus, different from a common cold, flu or allergies for that matter. And according to Doctor Gary Gross, who is on staff with Texas Health Dallas, it can last four to six weeks, maybe even longer.
"The cough is unusual in two respects," Dr. Gross said.
First, a lot more people have it. According to Gross, he is seeing at least one patient a day with the virus. For perspective, he usually sees one a week — tops.
Second, it lasts a lot longer.
"Usually we'll see a person get a cough or a cold" Gross said, "and it will last for a week or 10 days. But this year it's lasting for like four weeks, six weeks. And it just doesn't seem to get better."
There is no quick fix, according to the doctor. The virus must run its course. But there are ways patients can manage symptoms.
"There's some medicines that have a substance called [DM]. DM is what we usually use. And those medicines that have the DM do seem to calm the cough. There are some other medicines that are prescription that they can get from their doctor."
Plenty of sleep and fluids are also recommended.
Note, you're likely battling allergies if your symptoms appear on warm winter days when mountain cedar pollinates. But still — pay attention to how long your cough lasts.
"So the definition of a chronic cough is eight weeks or longer," Gross said. "And that is because so many people with viruses can have a cough up to eight weeks. And it's just the virus. It's not something in the person that's making them cough."
When the virus first presents itself, you may experience some aches and pains. But according to Gross, they should go away quickly, leaving you with a nagging cough.
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