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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, chest discomfort, 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, runny nose, 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:

If 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.

About misdiagnosis:

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.


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