Letters to the Editor

Cover Illustration Should Have Emphasized Cough Hygiene

Am Fam Physician. 2012 Jul 1;86(1):8.

Original Article: Evaluation of the Patient with Chronic Cough

Issue Date: October 15, 2011

Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/1015/p887.html

to the editor: I was disappointed that the cover art for the October 15, 2011 issue of American Family Physician’s article on chronic cough showed a man coughing into his clenched fist. This act will contaminate his hand, thus spreading any viral or bacterial secretions onto whatever he touches. In addition, some viral or bacterial secretions will not land on his fist but will fly into the surrounding air, possibly contaminating the air for others.

In my opinion, the illustration should have portrayed a person coughing into several layers of disposable tissues or the upper part of his or her sleeve. Both of these methods will help prevent the spread of any transmissible diseases.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations to disclose.

editor’s note Although the cover might illustrate typical behavior among people with colds, Dr. Bett makes a good point that it would be better to model the recommended method of coughing to reduce the spread of infection.

Send letters to Kenneth W. Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online, e-mail: afplet@aafp.org, or 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy., Leawood, KS 66211-2680.

Please include your complete address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors.

Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Possible conflicts of interest must be disclosed at time of submission. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting the American Academy of Family Physicians permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. The editors may edit letters to meet style and space requirements.


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