Why do I still cough even though the rapid test is negative? – VnExpress

Two days after the rapid test was negative, I still had a cough, not a sore throat like when I had Covid but very uncomfortable, gargling, cleaning the nose and throat every day did not reduce. So I haven’t recovered from the disease or is it a sequel?

Do I need a doctor or a PCR test? Please consult your doctor. (Hoang, 23 years old, Hanoi)


After the rapid test is negative, meaning there is no more viral antigen in the nasopharynx, you can continue to have a dry cough for a while. The reason is that when you have Covid-19, you have a prolonged cough, which damages the respiratory epithelium, leading to the invasion of bacteria, fungi … available in the airways and causing inflammation, causing a flare up. worsening cough, deep cough, cough with gradually thickening and yellow-green sputum. Cough can be severe, coughing too much will cause irritation, sore throat, pain along the midline to the chest, patients can’t eat, can’t sleep and worry about damage to their lungs after Covid-19…

People with Covid-19 also have a stuffy nose, may have to breathe through their mouth for a while, more or less affecting the lining of the airways and causing coughing.

In addition, a negative rapid F0 test does not mean cure, PCR test is still positive; or because the quick test is not correct,… Therefore, you should not be subjective but need to monitor for 10 days, limit contact with people around.

However, coughing is a reflex that clears dust, phlegm and other irritants from the airways, which is a beneficial protective reflex of the body. Doctors only treat coughs when coughing too much affects eating and sleeping. Cough is not much, patients just need to practice breathing, drink warm water, supplement nutrition … to increase resistance.

When you have a cough, practice breathing in and out through your nose, breathing slowly until the cough stops. Close your mouth and swallow continuously until the cough stops or drink warm water in small sips until the cough stops.

Clean the mouth and throat to avoid accumulation of plaque, creating a favorable environment for bacteria to grow. The steps to proper hygiene are brushing twice daily, for at least two minutes each time. Replace your toothbrush every three months. Gargle with physiological saline in the morning and at night before going to bed.

Eat enough foods including starchy foods, rich in protein, fats from nuts, beans, eggs, fish, lean pork, chicken, beef, low-fat dairy, fresh vegetables to help the body increase resistance. Limiting hard foods, sweets, cold or hot foods, alcohol, beer, tobacco… are all easy to stimulate the weak throat mucosa, produce mucus, form phlegm, and create a good environment. for bacteria to invade.

Some other notes such as bathing with warm water in a closed room, avoiding drafts, drying immediately after bathing. Close the door to prevent cold wind from entering the bedroom. Wear a scarf to keep your neck warm when going out; keep hands, feet, chest, neck, head warm… Clean the living environment regularly, keep the house space ventilated, clean items such as keyboards, phones, remotes to prevent inflammation throat.

Medicines should be used as directed. Refer to natural remedies such as honey, licorice to gradually reduce symptoms of sore throat.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Thi Bich Dao
Department of Ear, Nose and Throat, Hanoi Medical University Hospital

Breathing exercises at home for F0. Video: Network of companion doctors


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