A post-viral cough is a lingering cough that follows a viral respiratory tract infection, such as a common cold or flu, and lasting up to eight weeks. Post-viral cough is a clinically recognized condition represented within the European medical literature but is not mentioned in studies from America. Patients usually experience repeated episodes of post-viral cough. The heightened sensitivity in the respiratory tract is demonstrated by inhalation cough challenge.
One possible cause for post-viral cough is that the receptors that are responsible for stimulating the cough during the respiratory tract infection are up-regulated by respiratory tract infection and continue to stimulate after the virus has disappeared.
Post-viral cough can be resistant to treatment. Post-viral cough usually goes away on its own; however, cough suppressants containing codeine may be prescribed. Inhaled steroids may work in some patients. Running or increased cardiovascular activity can help clear the respiratory tract. Often the cause is post-nasal drip, and so nasal steroids or pseudoephedrine might also be helpful.
See also 
- Kastelik JA, Aziz I, Ojoo JC, Thompson RH, Redington AE, Morice AH (February 2005). "Investigation and management of chronic cough using a probability-based algorithm". Eur. Respir. J. 25 (2): 235–43. doi:10.1183/09031936.05.00140803. PMID 15684286.
- Chung KF, Lalloo UG (October 1996). "Diagnosis and management of chronic persistent dry cough". Postgrad Med J 72 (852): 594–8. doi:10.1136/pgmj.72.852.594. PMC 2398587. PMID 8977940.
- Holmes PW, Barter CE, Pierce RJ (September 1992). "Chronic persistent cough: use of ipratropium bromide in undiagnosed cases following upper respiratory tract infection". Respir Med 86 (5): 425–9. doi:10.1016/S0954-6111(06)80010-7. PMID 1462022.
- International Society for the Study of Cough
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