The Common Cold is a contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory tract.  The upper respiratory tract includes the nose, throat, sinuses, ears, and lungs.  Symptoms begin 2 to 3 days after infection with the virus and can last from 2 to 14 days.  Common symptoms are:

  • sore or scratchy throat
  • runny nose
  • coughing and sneezing
  • loss of voice (hoarseness)
  • mild fatigue and weakness
  • watery eyes
  • mild or rare headache
  • loss of appetite
  • low grade temperature of 99-100.4 degrees

Primary Prevention:  Hand-washing is recommended to minimize person-to-person transmission of the virus.  There is no vaccine available to prevent the common cold.

Treatment:  There are no antiviral drugs approved to treat or cure the infection and antibiotics are not effective against viruses.  Most available medications are palliative and treat symptoms only such as over the counter cough medicine, throat lozenges, decongestants and acetaminophen.

Notify our office:  if your symptoms persists, worsen, or if you develop

  • persistent coughing
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • fever over 101 degrees
  • white or yellow spots on your tonsils
  • painful earache
  • sinus pain
  • severe headache
  • neck pain or stiffness
  • skin rash or bruised skin
  • tender, enlarged glands in the neck

 

Influenza, commonly called "The Flu", is a contagious infection caused by a virus that affects the nose, throat and lungs.  Symptoms occur abruptly and usually last up to 5 days.  Common symptoms are:

  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • dry cough, can be severe
  • chest pain
  • feel very tired, fatigue and weakness (may last days to weeks)
  • muscle aches in the back and legs
  • bad or prominent headache
  • chills
  • high fever up to 104 degrees

Primary Prevention:   Hand washing is recommended to prevent the spread of any germs.  Have a yearly vaccine injection or nasal spray flu vaccine.  A different vaccine is made every year because strains of the virus change from year to year.

Treatment:  Antiviral drugs may be prescibed during the first 72 hours of symptoms.  Extra rest, plenty of fluids and over the counter remedies to treat symptoms may be used.

Notify our office:  if your symptoms persists, worsen, or if you develop

  • higher fever
  • shaking chills
  • worsening cough
  • earache
  • sinus pain
  • neck pain or stiffness
  • nausea or vomiting