The sudden changes in the weather during the period when fall is gradually passing into winter are likely to be the occasion for a number of ordinary colds. Because of the presence of these, it not infrequently happens that pulmonary affections of serious significance are thought to be no more than a simple cold. The cough, it is true, is likely to be much more persistent, but then, according to an old popular tradition, midseason coughs are supposed to be more liable to persist. It is easy to understand, then, how too little may be made of a cough, and, as a result, a patient may be allowed to lose precious time at the beginning of active pulmonary tuberculosis, each day of whose progress makes the ultimate prognosis a little less favorable. Tuberculous patients who continue their ordinary occupations are almost sure to have their symptoms gradually grow worse and their tuberculosis more active, and the possibility of an incipient case becoming fairly well advanced during the delay can be readily understood.
COUGHS AND COLDS.. JAMA. 2005;294(21):2780. doi:10.1001/jama.294.21.2780
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.