Common symptoms of colds or viral illnesses include cough, runny nose, congestion, sore throat, headache, earache and even low-grade fever. Because these symptoms are viral, they are usually self-limiting but it may not always feel like that. Some things you can do to decrease your symptoms are rest, increase your fluid intake, take over the counter cough suppressants or decongestants, drink warm tea with honey or perform salt water gargles, and take Tylenol or ibuprofen for headache or body aches. Most viruses last 7-10 days. Some things you can do to prevent viral illnesses are washing your hands, avoid sharing eating utensils or cups, covering your cough or sneeze, and disinfecting surface areas/work stations.
So, when should you come to the doctor? For adults, you should seek medical care if you are experiencing symptoms longer than 10 days, fevers greater than 101.3 for 5 days or if the fever is not resolving with Tylenol or ibuprofen, shortness of breath, wheezing, or severe headache. Children should seek medical care if they have symptoms lasting greater than 7-10 days, fever greater than 101.3 for 3 or more days or fever that does not resolve with medication, wheezing, ear pain, unusual drowsiness, feeding problems or decreased urination.
By Jenna Evans, PA-C
Family Practice Provider,
Adair County Health SystemThe information provided on the Adair County Health System’s Blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider. Any references to products, services, or health care providers on this web site are not a recommendation or endorsement of products, services or providers. Links to other Web sites from this site are provided for convenience and do not constitute or imply endorsement. Effort is taken to insure accurate information, however we cannot guarantee completeness or timeliness.