JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[The practice guideline 'Acute cough' from the Dutch College of General Practitioners; a response from the perspective of pulmonology].

Coughing is one of the most prevalent symptoms for which patients seek medical attention. Acute cough is defined as a symptom that lasts less than 3 weeks, is mostly transient and with minor consequences. Upper airway infections, and especially the common cold, are the main cause of acute cough. Acute cough is only occasionally due to life-threatening causes like severe pneumonia or pulmonary embolism. The Dutch College of General Practitioners has issued a comprehensive, practical guideline for diagnosis and treatment of acute cough. As viral infections are the most prevalent cause of acute cough, the guideline emphasises the need to be as cautious as possible with the prescription of antibiotics. Unfortunately, a paragraph on the causes of reduced cough effectiveness, which may lead to a more complicated course of illness, is missing from this guideline. Hopefully, this guideline will lead to a more standardized approach to patients presenting with acute cough.

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