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Symptoms » Cold-like symptoms

Cold-like symptoms

Cold-like symptoms: Introduction

The common cold is an extremely common upper respiratory infection of the upper respiratory tract, including the nose and throat. The common cold is caused by a virus and is very contagious. There are about 200 different types of viruses than can cause the common cold. Most cases of the common cold are mild, and most people recover from the common cold without complications. However, in some cases the common cold can lead to more serious infections and complications.

The effects of the common cold can vary between individuals and the specific type of virus causing the infection. Symptoms of the common cold include low-grade fever, sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, stuffy nose, body aches, headache, fatigue, sore throat, and cough. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of the common cold.

Because symptoms of the common cold can be mild, some people may not seek medical care and get a diagnosis. Because symptoms can also resemble symptoms of other diseases, a diagnosis can be missed. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of the common cold.

Viruses that cause the common cold spread from person to person when someone with the common cold talks, coughs or sneezes. This shoots droplets contaminated with the common cold virus into the air where they can be breathed in by others. The common cold also spreads by touching an infected person or a surface contaminated by the virus, such as a contaminated drinking glass or doorknob.

The common cold is most common during the winter, especially during rainy weather, although it can occur at any time of year.

Some people are at risk for complications of common cold. These people include those who have a chronic disease, an immunodeficiency disorder, a suppressed or compromised immune system, and the very young and very old. In these people, complications of the common cold can be serious and include the development of pneumonia, otitis media, acute bronchitis, sinusitis, and the worsening of asthma.

Diagnosing a common cold begins with taking a thorough health history, including symptoms, and performing a physical exam. Some tests may be done to rule-out other infections that have similar symptoms to the common cold. These tests include a throat culture and sensitivity to test for strep throat and influenza testing.

Additional testing may be performed if it is suspected that a common cold has led to the develoment of complications, such as pneumonia or acute bronchitis. Testing may include a complete blood count (CBC) and a chest X-Ray.

The best protection from getting or spreading the common cold includes covering the mouth and nose with the elbow or a tissue when sneezing or coughing and washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. Antibacterial cleaners can also be used to clean hands and surfaces. It is also important to avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth, which can transmit the common cold virus from the hands into nose and mouth.

There is currently no cure for the common cold. Treatment includes measures to help relieve symptoms and keep the body as strong as possible to minimize the risk of developing complications. Most people who are in general good health can recover from the common cold at home with supportive care, such as rest, drinking extra fluids, and over-the-counter cold remedies.

The age-old remedy of chicken soup may actually help to break up congestion and provides easy-to-digest nutrients to help keep up strength. Alternative treatment may also be recommended to shorten the length of the common cold.

Antibiotics are ineffective against the common cold, but for some people, a prescribed antiviral drug may be appropriate to help shorten the length of the disease. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of the common cold....more »

Cold-like symptoms: Everyone is familiar with the stuffy nose, sore throat, and cough from a common cold. This section focuses on symptoms similar to a runny nose; see also other sections on sore throat, cough, and headache. For comparison...more »

Cold-like symptoms: Misdiagnosis

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 ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Cold-like symptoms:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Cold-like symptoms. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Cold-like symptoms: Causes | Symptom Checker » | Assessment Questionnaire »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Cold-like symptoms

Home medical tests possibly related to Cold-like symptoms:

Causes of Types of Cold-like symptoms:

Review the causes of these more specific types of Cold-like symptoms:

Cold-like symptoms: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Cold-like symptoms, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

Symptom Checker

Symptom Checker

Cold-like symptoms Treatments

Treatment of the common cold starts with prevention. Preventive measures include covering the mouth and nose with an elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. Antibacterial cleaners can also be effectively used to clean hands and surfaces. It is also important to avoid touching the ...Cold-like symptoms Treatments

Review further information on Cold-like symptoms Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Cold-like symptoms

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Cold-like symptoms may include:

Stories from Users for Cold-like symptoms

Real-life user stories relating to Cold-like symptoms:

Message Boards for Cold-like symptoms

Symptom specific forums: The following patient stories in our interactive forums and message boards relate to Cold-like symptoms or relevant symptoms:

Diagnostic tests for Cold-like symptoms:

Various tests are used in the diagnosis of Cold-like symptoms. Some of these are listed below :

  • Physical examination
    • General appearance - jaundice may suggest viral hepatitis, gallstones, ascending cholangitis or cholecystitis.
    • Neck stiffness may suggest meningitis or encephalitis
    • Temperature - Fever with cold - like symptoms can be due to infection; malignant disease; metabolic disorders e.g. gout; blood disorders e.g. hemolytic anemia; vascular disorders e.g. stroke, brain hemorrhage; immunological disorders e.g. lupus.
    • Ears, nose and throat examination looking for signs of sinusitis, tonsillitis, middle ear infection and mononucleosis
  • more tests...»

Cold-like symptoms: Animations

Cold-like symptoms: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Cold-like symptoms may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Cold-like symptoms

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Cold-like symptoms:

Assessment Questionnaire: Questions your doctor may ask (and why!)

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Cold-like symptoms. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist here.

See Cold-like symptoms Assessment Questionnaire (15 listings)

Cold-like symptoms: Deaths

Read more about causes and Cold-like symptoms deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Cold-like symptoms

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 more »

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 more »

Cold-like symptoms: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Causes of Cold-like symptoms listed in Disease Database:

Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible causes of Cold-like symptoms as a symptom include:

Article Excerpts about Cold-like symptoms

Sneezing, scratchy throat, runny nose everyone knows the first signs of a cold, probably the most common illness known. Although the common cold is usually mild, with symptoms lasting one to two weeks, it is a leading cause of doctor visits and of school and job absenteeism. (Source: excerpt from The Common Cold, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

Definitions of Cold-like symptoms:

Catarrhal disorder of the upper respiratory tract, which may be viral or a mixed infection; marked by acute coryza, slight rise in temperature, chilly sensations, and general indisposition.
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Organs affected by Cold-like symptoms:

The list of organs typically affected by Cold-like symptoms may include, but is not limited to:

Detailed list of causes of Cold-like symptoms

The list below shows some of the causes of Cold-like symptoms mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Cold-like symptoms?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Cold-like symptoms. Of the 712 causes of Cold-like symptoms that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 11 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 2 causes are "common" diseases
  • 3 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 1 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 8 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 699 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Cold-like symptoms:

The following list of conditions have 'Cold-like symptoms' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Cold-like symptoms or choose View All.

View All A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P R S T U V W Z























Conditions listing medical complications: Cold-like symptoms:

The following list of medical conditions have Cold-like symptoms or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.


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Causes of Cold-like symptoms Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Cold-like symptoms based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?
  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Doctors and specialists: Who should I consult about Cold-like symptoms?

    Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Cold-like symptoms, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.

    Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :

    Classifications of Cold-like symptoms:

    Subtypes of Cold-like symptoms:

    Runny nose (754 causes), Stuffed nose (712 causes), Sneezing (454 causes), Upper respiratory infection (3 causes), Acute cough (28 causes), Acute sinusitis (6 causes), Allergic Rhinitis (19 causes), Increased chest phlegm (8 causes), Nasal Obstruction (80 causes), Nasal congestion (106 causes), Nasal allergies (8 causes), Hay fever (16 causes), Profuse watery nasal discharge (5 causes)

    Medical Conditions associated with Cold-like symptoms:

    Chills (1045 causes), Fever (2274 causes), Sweat symptoms (1699 causes), Respiratory tract symptoms (5166 causes), Temperature symptoms (2497 causes), Nose symptoms (2080 causes), Pain (6458 causes), Sensations (6520 causes), Skin symptoms (5992 causes), Throat symptoms (3410 causes), Brain symptoms (2787 causes), Neurological symptoms (9575 causes), Skin problems (3422 causes), Sensory symptoms (7134 causes), Nerve symptoms (9132 causes), Mouth symptoms (6864 causes), Common symptoms (8589 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes), Breathing symptoms (3381 causes), Breath symptoms (3023 causes), Sick (5751 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Face symptoms (8109 causes)

    Symptoms related to Cold-like symptoms:

    Respiratory symptoms (5166 causes), Lung symptoms (3280 causes), Fever (2274 causes), Flu-like symptoms (168 causes), Sore throat (512 causes), Cough (1407 causes), Flu (168 causes), Running nose (754 causes), Rhinitis, Allergic rhinitis (19 causes), Headache (2433 causes)

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Medical News summaries about Cold-like symptoms

    Our news pages contain the following medical news summaries about Cold-like symptoms and many other medical conditions:

    Evidence Based Medicine Research for Cold-like symptoms

    Medical research papers related to Cold-like symptoms include:

    Research More Evidence-Based Medicine at

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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