So it takes 18 days to get over a cough. File this under Something I Should Have Known.
Of course, the thing I think is most interesting is the piece about how the use of antibiotics in these cases tend to support people in their misguided perception that they helped–despite the fact that they are probably useless.
The quote at the heart of the matter:
…if a patient has not started getting better after about a week—when they expect the cough should be tapering off—they might head to the doctor to get antibiotics. This timing, however, is troublesome. “If they begin taking an antibiotic seven days after the onset of symptoms, they may begin to feel better three or four days later, with the episode fully resolving 10 days later,” the researchers wrote. “Although this outcome may reinforce the mistaken idea that the antibiotic worked, it is merely a reflection of the natural history” of the illness.”
Totally logical, I suppose. But still … humans are just the strangest creatures, eh? I’m willing to bet that most people, even when they learn that antibiotics won’t help, still press for a dose.
Now to the real question: what do you take for a persistent case of crappy writing, eh?