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2. Phlegm

Often, phlegm production accompanies the hacking cough, with the former beginning 24 to 48 hours after the onset of the latter. Phlegm may be white, yellow, or green, though in severe cases, the expectoration could be streaked with blood. This should prompt the individual to seek immediate medical attention, as it could indicate tuberculosis or another serious condition. In most cases, a cough with phlegm eases discomfort and pain by lubricating the airway. A dry cough often calls for cough suppressants to prevent disruption of sleep.

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