Is it a Cold or Worse?
Everyone is on heightened alert when it comes to our personal health during the pandemic, but especially when it relates to respiratory illness. Many of the symptoms of the common cold overlap with the flu and COVID-19. Here are some things to look out for and when to seek treatment.
Symptoms That Last
A common cold will usually run its course in about four days. While a cough and stuffy nose could last for longer, if you’re not feeling better, it is possible you have something more serious. To be safe, make an appointment to see your doctor.
If you’ve just been on a big trip, especially one that included a flight or mass transit, those symptoms could be pointing to something less conventional than a cold. Travel, especially international travel, can be a red flag for doctors. If you aren't feeling well after a trip, it's a good idea to seek treatment.
A High Fever
It is rare the common cold will cause a high fever (over 101 degrees Fahrenheit), so if you’re experiencing this symptom, be sure to seek medical treatment. Even if the fever is caused by strep throat, if left untreated, you could end up with a much more serious problem.
A Sustained Low-Grade Fever
Just because your fever isn’t over 101, that doesn’t mean you should ignore a low grade fever, especially if you've had it several days in a row. This is likely a sign your body is trying to fight off something more serious than a cold.
Cold Symptoms Coupled with Stomach Trouble
If you feel like you have a cold, but start having symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, it is important to get medical help. Gastrointestinal problems are symptoms shared by the flu and COVID-19, so call your doctor’s office and speak to a professional as soon as possible.
Chest Pain or Issues Breathing
Not being able to breathe and chest pain are symptoms you should never ignore. If you ever have unexplained shortness of breath, wheezing or chest pain, seek emergency medical treatment as soon as possible.
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