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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:

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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/17/2015

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