Misdiagnosis of Common cold
Misdiagnosis of Common cold
Misdiagnosing the common cold is possible because the symptoms of the common cold can mimic symptoms of other diseases, such as strep throat, pneumonia, and influenza or flu. To ensure the symptoms are due to the common cold and not other diseases, some tests may be done, such as a throat culture and sensitivity test to test for strep throat. Other tests may include a chest X-ray to check for pneumonia....more about Common cold »
Common cold misdiagnosis:
Distinguishing between cold and flu is not always easy
but desirable because of newer antiviral flu medications.
Generally, a cold is milder and a flu more severe,
but there are exceptions.
Flu will typically cause high fever, whereas a cold rarely does,
and is usually mild if so.
Flu also typically causes headache, body aches, fatigue, weakness, exhaustion,
and other symptoms that are uncommon or mild in a cold.
Symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, and sneezing
are more prominent in cold than flu, but can occur with either.
There are also other conditions that start like a cold
such as whooping cough.
Various allergies such as hay fever can also cause sneezing,
and stuffiness similar to a cold.
Cold and flu are not the only respiratory viruses
with other possibilities such as respiratory syncytial virus....more about Common cold »
Alternative diagnoses list for Common cold:
For a diagnosis of Common cold,
the following list of conditions
have been mentioned in sources
as possible alternative diagnoses
to consider during the diagnostic process for Common cold:
Diseases for which Common cold may be an alternative diagnosis
The other diseases for which Common cold
is listed as a possible alternative
diagnosis in their lists include:
Common cold: Medical Mistakes
Related medical mistakes may include:
Common cold: Undiagnosed Conditions
Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:
Discussion of diagnosis/misdiagnosis of Common cold:
symptoms occur often or last much longer than two weeks, they may be the
result of an allergy rather than a cold. (Source: excerpt from The Common Cold, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)
Common Misdiagnoses and Common cold
Mild worm infections undiagnosed in children: Human worm infestations, esp. threadworm, can be overlooked in some cases,
because it may cause only mild or even absent symptoms.
Although the most common symptoms are anal itch (or vaginal itch),
which are obvious in severe cases,
milder conditions may fail to be noticed in children.
In particular, it may interfere with the child's good night's sleep.
Threadworm is a condition to consider in children with symptoms such as bedwetting (enuresis),
difficulty sleeping, irritability, or other sleeping symptoms.
Visual inspection of the region can often see the threadworms, at night when they are active,
but they can also be missed this way, and multiple inspections can be warranted if worms are suspected.
See the introduction to threadworm.
Sinusitis is overdiagnosed: There is a tendency to give a diagnosis of sinusitis,
when the condition is really a harmless complication of another infection,
such as a common cold.
Whooping cough often undiagnosed: Although most children in the Western world have been
immunized against whooping cough (also called "pertussis"), this protection wears
off after about 15 years.
Thus, any teen or adult with a persistent cough may actually have whooping cough.
This is particularly dangerous for babies too young to be vaccinated,
and any un-vaccinated children.
Whooping cough can be fatal to an infant.
The cough symptoms of whooping cough is usually productive initially, but then
becomes a persistent dry cough, lasting up to 100 days.
Elderly grandparents may also be a reservoir of undiagnosed whooping cough.
Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the
more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, it can be over-diagnosed
(it can, of course, also fail to be diagnosed with fatal effect).
One of the most common misdiagnosed is for children with mesenteric adenitis
to be misdiagnosed as appendicitis.
Fortunately, thus misdiagnosis is usually less serious than the reverse failure to diagnose appendicitis.
Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue
with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure.
The "cuff" around the arm to measure blood pressure can simply be too small to accurately
test a child's blood pressure.
This can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of a child with hypertension.
The problem even has a name unofficially: "small cuff syndrome".
See misdiagnosis of hypertension.
Children with migraine often misdiagnosed: A migraine often fails to be
correctly diagnosed in pediatric patients.
These patients are not the typical migraine sufferers, but migraines can also occur in children.
See misdiagnosis of migraine or introduction to migraine.
Common cold: Rare Types
Rare types of medical disorders and diseases in related medical areas:
Medical news summaries about misdiagnosis of Common cold:
The following medical news items
are relevant to misdiagnosis of Common cold:
General Misdiagnosis Articles
Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.
When checking for a misdiagnosis of Common cold
or confirming a diagnosis of Common cold,
it is useful to consider what other
medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative
conditions relevant to diagnosis.
These alternate diagnoses of Common cold may already have
been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible
alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Common cold.
For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases,
see Overview of Misdiagnosis.
» Next page: Undiagnosed Common cold
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