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Cough and Fever

Cough and Fever

Apart from common cold, cough and fever can be symptoms of many other conditions like bronchitis, croup, etc. As these symptoms are typically found in children, knowing about the potential causes and remedies will be helpful.
Madhura Pandit
Last Updated: May 15, 2018
Cough can be of different types like dry, mucus-producing, persistent, whooping, 'barky', wheezing, etc. Describing the exact type of cough can help in diagnosing the underlying cause quickly.

Symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, headache, etc., usually occur due to respiratory disorders. However, as these symptoms are also observed when suffering from other illness, it is really difficult to identify the exact cause without consulting the doctor. Allergy is one of the most common cause of fever and cough together, in people. But, there can be many other possible causes like those mentioned below in brief.

➡ Possible Causes and Accompanying Symptoms

Allergy - An allergy is an adverse reaction by the immune system to a substance. The symptoms differ according to the type of allergy. Fever, cough, sore throat, skin rash, irritation, etc., are some of the common symptoms of airborne allergies and hay fever.

Bronchitis - It is a disease caused due to inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Symptoms include mucus-producing cough, low-grade fever, difficulty while breathing, chills, fatigue, etc.

Common Cold - It is a mild viral respiratory infection. Low-grade fever, sore throat, nasal congestion, cough, fatigue, headache, etc., are the symptoms.

Croup - It is a common respiratory infection of the airways, and one of the most common causes of cough and fever in children. Harsh, 'barking' cough, difficulty in breathing and swallowing, nausea, vomiting, fever, etc., are the other symptoms.

Influenza (Flu) - It is a viral infection, severe than common cold. Dry cough, fever, sore throat, body ache, headache, etc., are the identifying symptoms.

Laryngitis - It is the inflammation of the larynx or the voice box, leading to irritation of the vocal cords. Voice becoming hoarse, loss of voice, sore throat, cough, mild fever, swollen lymph nodes in the throat, etc., are the symptoms of laryngitis.

Meningitis - It is the inflammation of the membranes (meninges) that cover the brain and the spinal cord. High fever, severe headache, stiff neck, seizures, confusion, etc., are the common symptoms. Coughing and other flu-like signs are the lesser known symptoms.

Pneumonia - It is the inflammation of the alveoli of the lungs, caused due to bacteria, virus, fungi, or other parasites. Mucus-producing cough, fever, shortness of breath, headache, muscle pain, chest pain, chills, etc., are the symptoms of pneumonia.

Sinusitis - It is the inflammation of the sinuses due to allergy or infection. Thick discharge from nose, nasal congestion, severe cough at night, fever, headache, fatigue, etc., are the common symptoms of sinusitis.

Strep Throat (Streptococcal pharyngitis) - It is a bacterial infection in the throat. Symptoms include high-grade fever, severe throat pain, dry cough, white or red spots on the back of the throat.

Tonsillitis - It is the inflammation of the tonsils caused due to virus or bacteria. Symptoms of this condition include high fever, cough, sore throat, chills, headache, tiredness, etc.

Tuberculosis - It is a life-threatening respiratory disease caused due to bacterial infection. Peculiar symptoms of tuberculosis are persistent cough, low-grade fever, weight loss, chills, fatigue, night sweats.

Teething - Although not a disease, teething is one of the most significant cause of cough and fever in babies. The cough produced during baby teething is usually caused due to the excess salivation.

Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - It is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the respiratory tract. Dry cough, mild fever, sore throat, runny nose, etc., are the primary symptoms. In later stage, other symptoms like severe, mucus-producing cough, vomiting, etc., are observed.

➡ What to Look For

• What is the type of cough? Is it dry, mucus-producing, 'barky', persistent, hacking?

• Does the cough occur throughout the day, or only at night?

• Is the cough accompanied with fever (mild, severe, high fever)?

• Are cough and fever accompanied with other symptoms like vomiting, nausea, difficulty in breathing, etc.?

• Are the symptoms worsening after every passing day?

➡ Treatment

You should consult the doctor and get the underlying cause diagnosed immediately. Prescription medications, cough syrup, etc., help in treating cough in minor cases. In case, if you suffer from any of the aforementioned disorder, the doctor will prescribe the related treatment method. Staying away from allergens, airborne pollutants, etc., can help in treating chronic cough. Over-the-counter cough medications should not be given to babies and children without consulting the doctor. Several home remedies are also effective for treating cough and mild fever.

➡ Home Remedies

► Inhaling steam is an effective method used to clearing and soothing nasal passages. It helps in relieving cough and nasal congestion.

► A cool mist humidifier or a vaporizer can be installed in the bedroom so that you can breathe properly at night.

► Lozenges, cough drops and cough syrups can be taken without prescription. However, it is not recommended to use any over-the-counter medications and drugs in case of babies and children.

► Peppermint or eucalyptus oils can also be used to treat cough and nasal congestion. It is recommended to consult a doctor before using these herbal remedies.

► It is also very important to drink adequate amounts of water and hot liquids like chicken soup; and take sufficient rest in order to recover quickly.

► If you smoke, stop it immediately. Smoking only aggravates cough, therefore, it is wise to get rid of it completely.

Fever, cough and infections can be prevented to a large extent by having a balanced diet and maintaining hygiene. Although these are not serious symptoms, you should not ignore them, because if left untreated, they can turn chronic. Take care!

Disclaimer: This article is meant for educational purposes only. It does not attempt to replace the advice offered by a doctor.