9 Alarming Signs It’s More Than Just a Cold

By The Captain October 12, 2020

Wellness Captain Signs It's More Than Just a Cold

Runny nose, congestion, sneezing – when these symptoms strike, you’re likely suffering from a common cold. Although this condition is nothing to worry about, the same signs can hide a more dangerous illness that requires investigation.

First things first, if you feel anything unusual, it’s best that you talk to your doctor and let him decide if you need additional treatment. Thankfully, most clinics in 2020 also provide online medical consultation to avoid the risk of infection with the new SARS-CoV-2 virus. If you’re interested, in this post I answer the most common questions about seeing a doctor online.

Regardless if you’re dealing with unpleasant cold-like symptoms right now or not, it’s important that you stay informed. Today, we’re going to have a look at 9 signs that you may be suffering from something more than the common cold.


  1. Symptoms are lasting for more than 4 days

Melisa Lai Becker, MD, site chief of emergency medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance, says that the common cold can go away on its own or with minimal help on your part in about three to four days. The main symptoms include:

  • Scratchy/sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Cough

While the cough may last for a while longer, the rest of the symptoms should diminish by the fourth day. If your symptoms are lasting for more than this amount of time or they worsen, it’s time to seek medical assistance. All of the signs listed above can also hide a serious diagnosis like the flu or mononucleosis.


  1. You’ve been exposed

As the world is trying to get back to its normal course after the pandemic, more and more people are coming together in large numbers. If you traveled via public transportation (bus, metro, plane) or attended large meetings especially with people from other countries, it’s crucial to talk to your physician as soon as the first symptoms appear.

I know the world is scared about COVID-19 right now. Yes, that is a possibility as well. However, there still are many other illnesses one can get from coming in contact with others, including rare conditions specific to certain countries.


  1. You develop a high fever

Can you have a fever with the common cold?

This is a tricky question because there are multiple types of bacteria which can cause what we call the common cold. Sometimes you may develop a slight fever or just feel like you have one as your body is fighting off the disease.

However, high fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit is never caused by a cold.

According to Dr. Lai Becker, experiencing cold-like symptoms along with fever can be assign of strep throat. If you leave this condition untreated, you may end up with rheumatic fever which can quickly cause heart problems. Instead of ending up there, simply contact a specialist to get the proper treatment.


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