The most common symptoms of a cold include:
Influenza and seasonal allergies sometimes present like a cold. Cold symptoms that last more than 2 weeks may, in fact, be seasonal allergies, especially if there’s no fever present and there are symptoms associated with the eyes (itching, watery, red, or dry eyes). Influenza is a potentially serious viral illness that sometimes begins like a cold but causes high fevers, body aches, chills, sweats, and severe fatigue. It’s important to seek evaluation from a Dr. Merkler, especially in very young children, to ensure the diagnosis is accurate and the treatment is adequate.
Medical treatment is recommended for influenza-like symptoms, but should also be sought if:
In some cases, no treatment may be required, but it’s still important to confirm through a comprehensive evaluation and exam. In other cases, children with fever need a doctor’s note to return to school or daycare.
The common cold generally runs its course over just a few days and then resolves. When symptoms become problematic, over-the-counter medications can be used to alleviate discomfort.
Contrary to popular belief, colds aren’t caused by cold weather. A variety of viruses cause a common cold, but in most cases, a rhinovirus is to blame. These viruses are spread through the air when someone infected coughs, talks, or sneezes near a healthy person.
While there’s no sure way to prevent getting a cold or completely stop it in its tracks, there are several measures patients can take to decrease the odds of becoming sick:
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