Lahore (Web Desk): Doctors have warned that hacking cough affecting thousands of patients this winter and it cannot be cured with antibiotics .

Health experts have issued a public message urging sufferers to stay away from their general practitioner (GP) surgery. The illness has been caught by so many people this year and may last several weeks.

The health boards stressed there is little doctors can do to help the cough , since antibiotics have no effect on these viruses. Instead visiting GPs, patients are advised to take rest and plenty of fluids.

Health experts said, “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.”

Health experts further added that there is often nothing the GP can do to help other than recommend resting and drinking plenty of fluids in most cases, unless the patient has another underlying chronic condition like heart or lung disease or diabetes.

“Antibiotics will be of no help for most normally healthy people. If you see blood or are breathless with your symptoms, have lost weight or symptoms are on-going more than three weeks, patients should get advice.”

According to the health experts, there is usually no need to visit GP if suffering from a mild cough for a week or two. However, you should seek medical advice if:

1.    You’ve had a cough for more than three weeks

2.    Your cough is particularly severe or getting worse

3.    You cough up blood or experience shortness of breath, breathing difficulties or chest pain

4.    You have any other worrying symptoms, such as unexplained weight loss, a persistent change in your voice, or lumps or swellings in your neck