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Colds (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care for a Cold

People usually do not need to call a doctor if they catch a cold. However, if symptoms become severe or people develop the following symptoms, the patient may have "the flu" virus, bacterial pneumonia, or another illness that should be reported to the doctor:

  • Shaking chills
  • Profuse sweating
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • High fever (greater than 102 F)

For mild-to-moderate cold symptoms, individuals usually do not need to see a doctor. Almost everything a doctor can prescribe to relieve symptoms can be purchased without a prescription.

For more severe symptoms or a prolonged duration of symptoms, people should visit their doctor. An office visit will usually suffice but if the person is extremely ill and seems to be getting worse, go to the emergency department.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Rhinoviruses »

The common cold is an acute respiratory tract infection (ARTI) characterized by mild coryzal symptoms, rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction, and sneezing.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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