Dry Cough A dry, hacking cough is often caused by an infection of the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat), such as a cold or influenza. This type of cough usually gets worse in a warm room or after the child has gone to bed, but a dry cough may also be an early sign of an infection of the lower respiratory tract, as with bronchitis (the inflammation of the smallest airways in the lungs) or pneumonia (the inflammation of the lung tissue itself). Other causes include asthma, which first appears as a dry nighttime cough, and exposure to cigarette smoke or other similar irritants.
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