With symptoms like congestion, sore throat and sneezing, the common cold can be uncomfortable and make everyday activities a bit more difficult. However, both cold and the flu can cause symptoms such as coughing, headaches and chest discomfort.
You can catch a cold or the flu anytime of the year — even outside of flu season! Seeking help from Northwest Urgent Care can provide relief for your symptoms, and help you to start feeling better, sooner.
What are common cold and flu symptoms?
Cold complications are usually minor. Apart from typical symptoms such as a runny nose, they can include:
- Sinus pressure
- Sinus infection
Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract. During influenza season, the number of cases are higher than normal. Major complications of the influenza virus can include bronchitis and pneumonia. It is more likely to cause:
- High fever
- Body aches
Flu can spread by breathing in air droplets that contain the flu virus, sharing a drink or cutlery with someone who is infected, or handling an item touched by someone who already has the flu. Those most susceptible to the flu include pregnant women, infants, elderly and those with chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease and HIV.
What to do if you have a fever with the cold or flu?
A fever is a reaction to your body’s immune system doing its job and fighting off invading organisms. Most healthy children and adults can tolerate a fever of 103-104 °F for short periods without problems. Pain relievers can also help provide some relief for body aches.
If you believe you are sick with the flu or a cold, have a fever and are concerned about the length of time or the severity, you should see a medical professional for cold and flu treatment.
Preventing the Cold and Flu
Washing your hands can help slow the spread of the cold or flu if it is done properly — for 20 seconds or more with soap and water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Regular hand washing can make a difference, because viruses can survive on your hands. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol will work as well.
Important prevention methods for the flu include:
- The flu vaccine
- Hand washing or hand sanitizer
- Watching for symptoms
How should I seek help for cold and flu?
Symptoms of the common cold can often be treated with over-the-counter cold medications. Most people get colds, and they go away with time. However, recurring cold and flu symptoms that do not go away within a few days mean that you likely need more intensive medicines or cold and flu treatment.
A minor runny or stuffy nose and nasal congestion may not be a reason to rush to an urgent care center to seek help from a medical professional, but upper respiratory infection issues, fever or dizziness means you likely need help sooner rather than later. It’s also always best to talk to your doctor if you are worried about your condition.
An urgent care center, such as Northwest Urgent Care, can help diagnose your cold or flu and treat your symptoms. For those whose illness is minor, you may receive instructions on how to start feeling better. For those whose problem is worse, a trip to urgent care can help determine your issue and get you the treatment you need, sooner.
Contact Us Now
Northwest Urgent Care locations in Amarillo, Texas, are open seven days a week with convenient daytime and evening hours for patients who may need urgent care treatment. We are here to help provide patients with various treatment options that help you with your cold or flu. Walk-in or make a reservation online.