As thousands of people find themselves suffering from a hacking cough this winter, doctors are warning that there is nothing they can do to help.
Experts say that the cough, which can last for around three weeks, cannot be treated by antibiotics or other medicines.
Dr Anna Kuczynska told Wales Online : "We know there is a particularly nasty, persistent cough in the community that lasts a number of weeks and is leading a lot of people to attend their GP surgery.
“Unfortunately, in most cases, unless the patient has another underlying chronic condition for example, heart or lung disease or diabetes, there is often nothing the GP can do to help other than recommend resting and drinking plenty of fluids.
"Antibiotics will be of no help for most normally healthy people."
It comes after the Queen suffered from a cold over the Christmas period, forcing her to miss the Christmas and New Year church services.
She is made her first public appearance in over three weeks at a Sandringham church service.
Thousands more are now seeing in the new year with a cough, which could be caused by a virus which can lead to pneumonia.
John Oxford, a professor of virology at Queen Mary, University of London has said that the outbreak of the lingering cough was likely to be caused by adenovirus.
What is an adenovirus infection?
Adenovirus is an infection which affects the respiratory system.
Dr Ananya Mandal writes : "Adenoviruses are a family of viruses.
"These may cause infections in humans as well as animals.
"The most common infections caused by adenoviruses are respiratory tract infections."
Dr Mandal also warns that it could lead to pneumonia in cases where people have poor immunity.
"Common but serious complications include lung infection or pneumonia, middle ear infection or otitis media and brain infections or meningitis."
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms are similar to that of a cold, and could last up to around three weeks, including:
- Sore throat.
- Runny nose and eyes.
How can you treat it?
You can treat the cough yourself at home, NHS advise you to get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and if you need, take painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.
A homemade remedy of hot honey and lemon can be an effective treatment.
If your cough lasts for more than three weeks, NHS advise you to seek medical attention.
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