Experts issue warning on summer cough risk
girl with fluWe all know about wearing sunscreen and swimming between the flags in Summer, but did you know you might suffer a chesty cough not just in Winter, but in Summer too?

Healthcare professionals are urging people to be on their guard in light of new findings that show coughs are not exclusive to the winter months. Australian research confirms they are prevalent in summer too.

A new survey by Boehringer Ingelheim, maker of Bisolvon® Chesty (a mucolytic), has found that, contrary to popular belief, 78% of Australians (out of a survey of 301) suffer a cough during Summer1.

Community Pharmacist, Gerald Quigley, believes people can get caught “off guard” by an unseasonal cough. For example, he says a chesty cough, if not treated properly, can worsen and lead to a secondary, bacterial infection.

“Because we don’t expect to have a chesty cough in Summer, there is the risk that we underestimate the early signs and therefore fail to manage it properly. This can lead to it worsening.

“I suggest if you do get caught with a chesty cough this summer, you should look for a mucolytic treatment that gets to the cause of the problem by helping to thin and remove the mucus that causes it, rather than a treatment that just soothes the symptoms”, said Mr Quigley.

Associate Professor Peter Holmes, Respiratory Physician at Monash Medical Centre in Melbourne, also advises that to treat a chesty cough it is important to remove the mucus that causes it.

“A chesty cough is caused by a build up of mucus on the air passages, so to relieve this it is important to find a treatment that thins the mucus and makes it easier to expel”, said A/Prof Holmes.

Gerald Quigley has put together his Top 5 Tips for preventing unexpected chesty coughs ruining your fun this summer.

  1. Use a mucolytic treatment to get to the cause of the chesty cough
  2. Ensure you and those around you wash their hands regularly to prevent spread of germs, especially after being in the pool or at the beach
  3. Avoid sharing cold drinks and ice creams on hot Summer days
  4. Use a humidifier in the bedrooms during Summer nights
  5. Make sure your pillow is high enough to prevent a runny nose from depositing mucus down the throat


1. Cough Quantitative Research, IMS, Dec 2009.

Information issued on behalf of Boehringer Ingelheim, maker of Bisolvon® Chesty.

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