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Cold, Flu & Cough

Respiratory Tract Infections

The flu and the common cold are infections of the respiratory tract that are caused by viruses. The respiratory tract encompasses the airways, throat, nose, and lungs, which can all be affected by a cold or flu. In most cases, it is not necessary to call your doctor for a cold or flu.

Cold Symptoms

Symptoms of a cold include:

  • Fever; 102 degrees Fahrenheit and below
  • Congestion; runny / stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Exhaustion
  • Coughing
  • Muscle aches
  • Eyes watering
  • Headache

In many cases, cold symptoms build up slowly overly a longer period of time. They are less severe than flu symptoms. Rest and hydration, along with use of some over-the-counter medications, can prove helpful.

Flu Symptoms

Some flu symptoms, which typically appear out of the blue as opposed to the gradual build-up of cold symptoms, include:

  • Fever; over 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Congestion; stuffy nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Aching muscles
  • Chills / sweating
  • Exhaustion
  • Headache

When to Call a Doctor

If a child experiences the following symptoms, call a doctor:

  • Fever lasting over 3 days
  • A high fever, over 103 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Difficulty breathing; rapid breathing / wheezing
  • Turning “blue”
  • Earache / ear drainage
  • Changes in behavior or mental state including not waking up or increased irritability
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Symptoms of the flu that get better but than come back stronger with a worse cough and fever
  • Worsening of chronic pre-existing condition such as diabetes

Call a doctor if an adult experiences the following symptoms:

  • High fever of more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit, lasting for a long time and accompanied by muscle aches and fatigue
  • Symptoms not improving for 10 days or more, or continuing to get worse
  • Difficulty breathing / shortness of breath
  • Chest pressure or pain
  • Fainting / feelings of being about to faint
  • Feeling confused / disoriented
  • Severe vomiting
  • Swollen neck / jaw glands
  • Serious sinus pain or pressure in the face or forehead
Related Locations
  • Internal Medicine & Infectious Diseases - Mowry Multi-Specialty Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Infectious Diseases, Pulmonary Medicine, Immigration Physicals
    2557 Mowry Ave.
    Fremont, CA 94538
    (510) 248-1550
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