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Cold & Flu Urgent Care Treatment: FAQs

Cold & Flu Urgent Care Treatment: FAQs

Posted on June 15th, 2023.

When the cold and flu season hits, it's common to have questions about symptoms, treatments, and when to seek medical care.

Today, we will address some frequently asked questions to help you navigate through cold and flu season with confidence.

How to tell Cold Symptoms vs. Flu Symptoms?

It's important to be able to distinguish between cold and flu symptoms, as they can vary in severity and treatment. Here's a breakdown of the common symptoms associated with each:

Cold Symptoms:

  • Runny or stuffy nose: A cold often starts with nasal congestion and may progress to a runny nose as the illness progresses.
  • Sneezing: Sneezing is a common symptom of a cold and is typically triggered by irritation in the nasal passages.
  • Sore throat: A scratchy or irritated throat is a frequent symptom of a cold. It may be accompanied by mild discomfort or pain.
  • Mild headache: Headaches associated with a cold are typically mild and may be accompanied by sinus pressure.
  • Mild fatigue: While fatigue is a common symptom, it is usually mild and does not cause significant disruption to daily activities.
  • Mild body aches: Generalized muscle aches and discomfort can be experienced during a cold.
  • Mild cough: A cold may cause a mild, dry, or hacking cough.

Flu Symptoms:

  • High fever: Fever is often one of the initial and most prominent symptoms of the flu. It can be accompanied by chills and sweats.
  • Severe headache: Flu-related headaches are often severe and may be accompanied by sinus pressure or facial pain.
  • Intense fatigue: Fatigue associated with the flu is typically more pronounced and can last for several weeks.
  • Muscle and body aches: Flu-related body aches and muscle soreness are often more severe and widespread compared to a cold.
  • Chills and sweats: Shivering, chills, and sudden-onset sweating are common flu symptoms.
  • Dry cough: The flu can cause a persistent, dry cough that may be accompanied by chest discomfort or tightness.
  • Sore throat: Although less common, a sore throat can be present in some cases of the flu.
  • Nasal congestion: Unlike a cold, the flu typically does not cause significant nasal congestion.

It's important to note that these symptoms can vary from person to person, and some individuals may experience a combination of both cold and flu symptoms. If you're unsure about your symptoms or need further clarification, it's always best to consult a healthcare professional.

How Much Fever Before Seeing a Doctor?

Fever is a common symptom of both colds and the flu. While low-grade fevers are generally not cause for immediate concern, it's important to monitor your temperature and pay attention to other symptoms. Here are some guidelines to consider:

Low-Grade Fever: A low-grade fever is typically defined as a temperature between 99°F (37.2°C) and 100.4°F (38°C). In most cases, a low-grade fever accompanying a cold or mild flu can be managed at home with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter fever reducers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).

High Fever: A high fever is generally considered a temperature above 100.4°F (38°C). If you or a loved one experiences a high fever along with severe symptoms such as intense fatigue, severe headache, or difficulty breathing, it is advisable to seek medical attention promptly. High fevers can be an indication of a more serious underlying condition that requires medical evaluation and treatment.

Remember, everyone's tolerance to fever and its associated symptoms may vary. If you're unsure about whether to seek medical care, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide guidance based on your specific situation and help you determine the best course of action.

What Medication is Usually Given for a Cold or Flu?

Over-the-counter medications can help alleviate symptoms and provide relief during a cold or flu. Here are some commonly used medications:

1. Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers:
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol): Acetaminophen is commonly used to reduce fever and relieve headache, body aches, and sore throat associated with colds and flu.
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin): Ibuprofen is another option for reducing fever and relieving pain and inflammation. It can help alleviate headaches and body aches.

2. Decongestants:
  • Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed): Pseudoephedrine is an effective decongestant that can help relieve nasal congestion and sinus pressure. It works by constricting blood vessels in the nasal passages.
  • Phenylephrine (Sudafed PE): Phenylephrine is an alternative decongestant that can help reduce nasal congestion.

3. Cough Suppressants and Expectorants:
  • Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM): Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant that helps control coughing.
  • Guaifenesin (Mucinex): Guaifenesin is an expectorant that helps thin and loosen mucus, making it easier to cough up.

4. Antihistamines:
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl): Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that can help alleviate symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes.

It's important to follow the recommended dosage instructions for these medications and consult a healthcare professional if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications. They can provide personalized advice and ensure that the medications you choose are appropriate for your specific needs.

Do I Need a Prescription for Zpack?

The Zpack, also known as azithromycin, is an antibiotic commonly prescribed for bacterial infections. However, it's important to note that the Zpack is not effective against viral infections like the common cold or flu. Colds and most cases of the flu are caused by viruses, not bacteria.

Antibiotics should only be used when prescribed by a healthcare professional for bacterial infections. Overuse or misuse of antibiotics can contribute to antibiotic resistance, which is a growing concern in healthcare. If you suspect you have a bacterial infection, it's important to consult a healthcare professional who can properly diagnose your condition and prescribe appropriate treatment if necessary.

Cold & Flu Urgent Care When You Need It Most

When you're feeling under the weather, it's essential to have access to prompt and convenient medical care. At our urgent care facility, we provide comprehensive care for patients experiencing cold and flu symptoms. Our experienced healthcare professionals are here to address your concerns, provide accurate diagnoses, and offer appropriate treatment options.

If you or a loved one is experiencing cold or flu symptoms and requires urgent care, we're here to help. Give us a call at (203) 2881700 or schedule a virtual appointment.

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Schedule an appointment or inquire about our services at Express Care Urgent Care. Our team is dedicated to providing you with high-quality healthcare and exceptional patient care.