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New type of cough

My daughter (4 years old, CF) received an antibiotic therapy (cephalosporine) 6 weeks ago because of a severe cold (rhinitis). The rhinitis disappeared after the therapy. A severe, strongly mucous cough, coming from the deeper airways, however, did not disappear, even after a second course of antibiotics had been given. After she has coughed out the mucous, her situation becomes the same as before coughing within a few minutes and she is hardly able to breathe-especially at night.

She did not have such a kind of cough before. During an investigation at the paediatrician the lung sounded normal 3 weeks ago.

What can be the cause of this cough?

Thank you very much and best regards,
Dear parents,

I can really understand your concern because normally after an infection of the upper airways in otherwise healthy children the cough will have disappeared after 14 days in most cases. In children suffering from CF however, we can observe quite often a duration of the cough for more than 14 days. 6 weeks, however, is a time interval which justifies further investigation, even if the auscultation of the lungs was normal at the paediatrician. I would recommend that you get in contact with your CF-centre. One should exclude an allergic origin (allergy test) as well as an inflammation of the lung which is only visible on the x-ray. In addition, the sputum or a swab culture of the throat should be investigated for germs. Has your child been vaccinated against whooping cough (B. pertussis)? In any case your daughter should continue to use inhaled therapy until the cause of the cough is clear.

Best regards,

Dr. E. Rietschel