Several expats are complaining of a chronic cough. The sufferers include a new arrival in Escazú and a longtime expat on the central Pacific coast.
The Pacific coast expat said that he had been dosed with enough antibiotics to kill a bacteria colony the size of Escazú over the last four months and then given a seven-day antibiotic drip.
The problem is that the medical literature online says that only 10 percent of acute coughs are from bacteria. The antibiotics have little effect on viruses or environmental causes.
Harvard Medical School said the leading causes of a chronic cough are postnasal drip, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease, chronic bronchitis and treatment with ACE inhibitors used for high blood pressure.
Costa Ricans can add another cause: The rainy season.
Some of these coughs can last weeks, months or even years, said Harvard. Allergies also can be a cause, according to online sources. These include sensitivity to mold and also cockroaches and other insects that might be nearby but unseen.
Of course, smokers get a continual smokers cough, but when the symptoms become more than a morning throat clearing, the suffered is inclined to give up smokes. There are some reports that marijuana causes a prolonged cough.
The literature is consistent in suggesting a doctor’s visit if a cough last for more than a couple of weeks.