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Antibiotics may worsen a lingering cough

8:24 AM, Jan. 16, 2013
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How long-lasting is a typical cough - the kind you get with a cold? If you guessed about a week, you are average, but you are wrong.

In a new study, doctors who reviewed medical studies found that "acute cough," sometimes called "acute bronchitis," lasts an average of nearly 18 days. But when the doctors asked 493 adults in Georgia how long they expected such coughs to last, estimates averaged seven to nine days.

That mismatch between reality and expectations may be one big reason that so many people wrongly believe that coughs lingering more than a few days need to be treated with antibiotics, ...

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports