Nonetheless, it is important to be aware of the symptoms and also the conditions that warrant you to see your general practitioner or pediatrician.

What to Do

Medically known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection, the common cold is usually contagious and is known to be caused by over 200 different types of viruses. Most of the symptoms of a common cold are similar to those of bacterial infections and other serious conditions. Hence, it is important to make an appointment with your doctor if the symptoms worsen or do not improve. In case there are evident flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills and muscle or body aches, visit your doctor immediately.


Seek an appointment with your doctor immediately if:

  • Symptoms are worsening or do not improve after 10 days.
  • You are feverish with a temperature of 100.4°F or higher.
  • You notice discharge of mucus when coughing.
  • You have shortness of breath, wheezing or severe sinus pain.
  • You are suffering from a stiff neck or an unbearable headache.
  • You are experiencing severe dizziness or unsteadiness.


If your child is less than three months old and has a fever that ranges from mild to severe, take him/her to a pediatrician immediately. Doctor’s help must be sought if your baby has the following symptoms:

  • A fever of 100.4°F
  • Rising temperature or fever lasting more than three days
  • Blue or gray patches on the skin, especially areas such as lips, nose and fingernails
  • Ear pain, abdominal pain or vomiting
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Prolonged coughing
  • Unusual fatigue or irritability

Visiting The Physician

If you or your child are experiencing persistent or severe symptoms, you mustn’t delay consulting your doctor or pediatrician. Also, prepare for your appointment to make the most out of your consultation.

Note Down the Following Points:

  • List of symptoms and their duration.
  • Lifestyle details, such as stress issues, unhygienic conditions, meals or exposure to a sick person.
  • Pre-existing health problems and any on-going medication or supplement intake.

Points Your Doctor Should Explain:

  • Possible causes of the symptoms.
  • What diagnostic tests are required, if any.
  • The best treatment approach.
  • Precautions to be taken and treatments that must be stopped briefly or avoided.
  • Tentative recovery duration or improvement of symptoms.
  • How contagious your condition can be and if the patient can resume work or school.
  • Self-care tips to encourage or accelerate recovery.
  • Information on how you should manage this problem with your existing health conditions.
  • Any other concerns you may have.

In the meantime, the best that you can do is to take good care of yourself, take adequate rest and increase your intake of fluids.

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