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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Are cold and cough indicative of a viral infection?

Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16087 Questions

Posted on Tue, 30 Oct 2018 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Hello,

My grand daughter who is 15 and a freshman in high school has lost his total voice after a brief cold and cough. What could be the cause and remedy?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 29 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Can be associated with viral infections

Detailed Answer:


Hoarseness or loss of a person's voice can occur as a result of a cough/cold due to the viral infection affecting the vocal cords though there is no visible change.

In most cases, the voice returns within a week once it is rested as much as possible, it is best to talk softly, not whisper. Whispering increases stress on the voice.

Gargle with salt water even if there is no pain and make sure to use enough fluids

A humidifier would also be helpful as well.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 23 minutes later
Thanks Dr. XXXXXXX for your quick response. Since there is a total loss of voice could it have any neurological reasons? This has happened after a bout of cold and cough, but there is no fever or any other symptoms. Will appreciate your views.
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 6 hours later
Brief Answer:

Not likely

Detailed Answer:


The nerve which supplies the larynx is the recurrent laryngeal nerve.

It is not that easy to damage, damage most commonly occurs as a complication of surgery or due to something pressing on the nerve (which would have other symptoms as well)

The presence of fever is not necessary to lose the voice

There is also psychogenic aphonia (loss of voice due to psychological reasons), but this is not common

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Michelle Gibson James, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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