Severe Cold and Flu Symptoms

Monday, December 21, 2015

Most people recover from the flu in a few days, and from colds in a couple of weeks. But in some cases, symptoms can worsen or linger. What do you do then? Dr. Edward Hill has some advice in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

The common cold, including chest cold and head cold, and seasonal flu are caused by viruses. While the symptoms of a cold or flu can cause pain and discomfort, they should get better over time.

Call your doctor right away if you suffer these symptoms:

Difficulty breathing or chest pain. A cold or the flu should not make you short of breath or cause pain in your chest. These could be symptoms of a more serious problem such as heart disease, asthma or pneumonia.

Persistent fever. This can be a sign of a secondary infection in your body that may need to be treated.

Inability to keep fluids down. You may need IV fluids for hydration.

Persistent coughing. This may be from postnasal drip that can be treated with decongestants. It could also be related to asthma or acid reflux disease.

Nasal congestion and headaches. Colds and allergies that cause congestion and blockage of the sinus passages can lead to a sinus infection.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.