Common Cold and Flu Diagnosis

Common Cold Diagnosis

Nasal congestion, sneezing, a runny nose, and coughing are all classic signs of a cold. In most cases, common colds go away on their own, and it isn’t necessary to make an appointment with your doctor or your child’s pediatrician for an evaluation and diagnosis. (diagnosis flu).

But they recommend to schedule an appointment with your doctor, if cold symptoms persist or worsen more than 10 days. Also, if you or your child have a fever of more than 100.4 °F, or if over-the-counter medications do not produce any improvement.

Sometimes, the common cold may develop into more serious complications, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Ear infections are a common complication in children.

Complications are more common in infants and children, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms and a physical examination are all the doctor needs to diagnose the common cold. An initial diagnosis often is made from symptoms alone.


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Physical examination (Cold Diagnosis)

Usually, no blood tests or X-rays are necessary.
During the physical examination, the doctor will pay careful attention to the head, neck, and chest.
The doctor will examine the eyes, ears, throat, and chest to help determine if a bacterial source is causing the illness.

To properly diagnose a cold that is severe or persistent, your physician may start with a history and physical exam. He or she will ask questions about your symptoms, including their specific character and how long they have lasted. In the exam, your doctor will likely check your lungs, sinuses, throat, and ears. (Diagnosis flu).

cold and flu diagnosis








Your doctor may also take a throat culture, which involves swabbing the back of the throat. This test mainly helps your doctor to determine whether or not a bacterial infection is causing your sore throat. They may also order a blood test or chest X-rays in order to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms or to find out whether your cold has developed into a more serious complication like bronchitis or pneumonia.

In certain cases, such as with a severe ear infection, your doctor may refer you or your child to a specialist such as an otolaryngologist.

Though there are some laboratory tests that can detect common viral agents like rhinovirus and respiratory syncytial virus. They are rarely used since the common cold tends to abate before a diagnostic test is necessary. However, sometimes a doctor may order a viral test in the case of cold symptoms, especially in children under two, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. These tests commonly involve taking a sample of nasal fluid using a suction instrument or sometimes a swab.


See also: “What is the treatment for the Common Cold and Flu?


Diagnosis Flu

Your respiratory illness might be the flu if you have fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. Flu viruses usually cause the most illness during the colder months of the year. However, influenza can also occur outside of the typical flu season. In addition, other viruses can also cause respiratory illness similar to the flu. So, it is impossible to tell for sure if you have the flu based on symptoms alone. If your doctor needs to know for sure whether you have the flu, there are laboratory tests that can be done.

cold and flu diagnosisA number of flu tests are available to detect influenza viruses. The most common are called “rapid influenza diagnostic tests.” These tests can provide results in 30 minutes or less. Unfortunately, the ability of these tests to detect the flu can vary greatly. Therefore, you could still have the flu, even though your rapid test result is negative. In addition to rapid tests, there are several more accurate and sensitive flu tests available that must be performed in specialized laboratories. All these tests require a doctor to pass a swab for sample, inside the nose or the back of the throat and then send it for analysis. These tests do not require a blood sample.

Physical examination (Diagnosis Flu)

Your doctor can diagnose the flu based on your symptoms and clinical criteria or you can choose to use a diagnostic test for the flu. Flu tests may also be useful for some people with suspected influenza, who are pregnant or have a weakened immune system. And for whom a diagnosis of influenza, can help your doctor make decisions about your care.

You may think of the flu as pretty harmless. But sometimes this illness can lead to serious complications that require emergency care.

Every year more than 200,000 people in the U.S. wind up in the hospital because of the flu. Tens of thousands die. Infants, the elderly, and people with certain diseases or weakened immune systems are the most at risk. So it’s important to know the signs of trouble.

Different strains of the influenza virus cause the flu. You get it when you inhale the germ or pick it up on your hands and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Symptoms usually show up 1 to 4 days later.

The flu can be hard to tell from a cold. But it usually comes on faster and is more severe. The so-called “stomach flu” isn’t the same as influenza. The flu very rarely causes tummy trouble in adults. (Diagnosis flu).