A COUGH is a sudden and often repetitively occuring reflex which helps to clear the large breathing passages from secretions, irritants, foreign particles and microbes. Frequent coughing usually indicates the presence of a disease. Many viruses and bacteria benefit evolutionary by causing the host to cough, which helps to spread the disease to new host. Most of the time, coughing is caused by a respiratory tract infection but can be triggered by choking, smoking, air pollution, asthma, gastroesophagal reflux disease, post nasal drip, chronic bronchitis and medications such as ACE inhibitors.
A cough can be classified by its duration, character, quality and timing. The duration can be either acute if it is present less than three weeks, sub acute if it is present between three and eight weeks, chronic when lasting longer than eight weeks. A cough can be dry or productive, depending on whether sputum is coughed up.
A THROAT INFECTION is discomfort, pain, or scratchiness in the throat due to any infectious condition. A sore throat often makes it painful to swallow in cases of throat infection. Sore throat are common.
Strep throat is an inflamed throat caused by infection with bacteria called Streptococci.