In most cases, the signs and symptoms of a cold will clear up on their own. In some cases, visit MD Now to determine whether you may be experiencing something different or more serious. After asking questions about your symptoms and their duration, your provider may prescribe a throat culture or blood test to rule out additional causes.
Colds usually stick around for about one week. If you experience throat pain and cough, or other signs of a cold, your MD Now provider may provide treatment options and medications to lessen symptom severity.
If you experience a more constant cough, you may have a case of bronchitis—particularly if the cough eventually produces yellow or green mucus. A mild fever may also be present.
A constant cough can sometimes be a symptom of pneumonia, however, if the cough is accompanied by hoarseness and whistling noises while breathing, it could potentially be due to bronchitis.
Antibiotics are the common treatment for pneumonia. There is currently no effective treatment for bronchitis. Your MD Now provider will likely recommend rest, drinking lots of fluids, and, if needed, taking over-the-counter medications to reduce fever. Cough medications, bronchodilators and anti-inflammatories may also be prescribed to manage a constant cough, facilitate breathing, and relieve inflammation.
The most prevalent URI is the “common cold.”
Caused by a virus, these infections can be difficult to treat.
If you show signs of a cold, your provider can help manage symptoms, such as a cough, runny nose, and nasal congestion.
Fevers are most often caused by infections, such as a virus. A viral fever is typically accompanied by other complaints that may help identify its cause. Fever severity varies according to age and illness, and is generally categorized by grades.
In children, even a simple cold or other viral infection can cause a fever. This doesn’t always indicate a serious problem. A fever in children seldom requires treatment.
Contact MD Now, if your child’s fever falls in the intermediate or high grade range, or if a low grade fever lasts longer than four days. If your child experiences hyperpyrexia, a severe fever equal to 106.7ºF or higher, seek immediate emergency care.
Lower respiratory tract infections can be caused by either a virus or bacteria. People with lower respiratory infections (bronchitis or pneumonia) typically exhibit symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever, coughing, and fatigue.
There are no known treatments for most types of viral infections, although your MD Now provider may prescribe medications to manage symptoms. For bacterial infections, antibiotics may be prescribed.
Bronchiolitis typically occurs in infants and children. Watch for changes in breathing, such as struggling for breath, making grunting noises, or an inability to speak or cry.
Since the condition is caused by a virus rather than bacteria, antibiotics are ineffective in bronchiolitis treatment.
Unless your child has an associated bacterial infection, such as pneumonia, your provider is unlikely to prescribe antibiotics. In some cases, however, your child may require hospital care.
Walking pneumonia can be caused by a bacterium called mycoplasma pneumonia. Approximately 15 to 25 days after exposure to mycoplasma, you may experience symptoms such as:
Some people also experience ear infection, anemia, and skin rashes. Walking pneumonia is typically treated with antibiotics.
The content provided on the MD Now website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for receiving medical care and treatment from a qualified healthcare provider. Never delay seeking advice, evaluation, and treatment from a medical professional because of what you’ve read on this site, since the information provided may not apply to you or your symptoms.