A cold is a viral infection of the nose and throat. No matter how it may feel when you have a cold, the condition is typically harmless. Children under age 6 have the greatest risk of catching a cold, as their young immune systems continue to develop. Two or 3 colds a year aren’t unusual for a healthy adult. Symptoms last about 7-10 days, though some people, such as smokers, may find recovery takes longer. When cold symptoms hang on for 14 days, schedule an appointment with FMAA.
Though individual cases may vary, the common cold usually includes:
Medical attention may be necessary when a fever exceeds 101.3 Fahrenheit, or 38.5 Celsius, lasts for more than 5 days or returns later as a person tries to recover from a cold. Severe sore throat pain, headache, or sinus pain may require further treatment. Shortness of breath or wheezing could indicate other problems.
Typically, a child’s cold doesn’t require a doctor’s visit. However, call FMAA immediately if any of these conditions occur:
In rare cases, a cold may trigger secondary conditions. These include acute ear infections, asthma attacks, acute sinusitis from colds of unusually long duration, and other disorders, such as strep throat, croup, or pneumonia, all of which need medical treatment.
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