Colds and the flu - what to ask your doctor - adult
Many different germs, called viruses, cause colds. Symptoms of the common cold include:
The flu is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs caused by the influenza virus.
Many flu symptoms are similar to those of a common cold. Flu can symptoms can also include fever, muscle aches, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider to help you take care of your cold or flu.
What to ask your doctor about colds and the flu - adult; Influenza - what to ask your doctor - adult; Upper respiratory infection - what to ask your doctor - adult; URI - what to ask your doctor - adult; H1N1 ("Swine") flu - what to ask your doctor - adult
What are the symptoms of a cold? What are the symptoms of the flu? How can I tell them apart?
Can I make other people sick? How can I prevent that? What should I do if I have a young child at home? How about somebody who is older?
When will I start to feel better?
What should I eat or drink? How much?
What medicines can I buy to help with my symptoms?
Will antibiotics make my symptoms go away faster?
Are there other medicines that can make the flu go away faster?
How can I keep from getting a cold or the flu?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Key facts about seasonal flu vaccine. Available at: www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm. Updated October 2, 2015. Accessed January 29, 2016.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The flu: what to do if you get sick. Available at: www.cdc.gov/flu/takingcare.htm. Updated August 14, 2014. Accessed January 29, 2016.
Hayden FG. Influenza. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 364.
Turner RB. The common cold. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 361.
Review Date: 11/1/2015
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.