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Common Cold

Are you feeling sniffly and stuffy? WellNow Urgent Care is here to help when those pesky cold symptoms come your way. Our providers offer quick, quality care to help you feel better — so you can get back to being well, now.

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What is a cold?

The common cold is the illness that people experience most over the course of their lives. Common colds, including head and chest colds, are caused by viruses that can be contracted from work, school, the gym — just about anywhere.

The most frequent cause of the common cold is the rhinovirus, which can occur all year, but is most prevalent in early fall and spring.

Common Cold Symptoms

Average cold symptoms include:

  • Chest and nasal congestion

  • Hacking cough

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Sneezing

  • Sore throat

Common Cold Treatment

Because the common cold can be caused by more than 200 different viruses, there is no cure or vaccine for the cold. While your body fights the virus, there are ways to help your immune system and lessen your symptoms.
  • Get plenty of rest

  • Stay hydrated by drinking water

  • Gargle salt water to help a sore throat

  • Relieve congestion using a humidifier (that has been cleaned and properly maintained)

  • Eat healthy, nutritious foods

  • Ease aches and pains with a warm bath

If your symptoms are bothering you despite these home remedies, many over-the-counter medications can help ease your symptoms. Always talk to a pharmacist or your doctor if you have questions about your medications, including over-the-counter drugs.

How do I know if I have the common cold?

The common cold has several symptoms that are often similar to other illnesses. If you feel unwell but are unsure of the cause, visit a WellNow Urgent Care clinic near you. Our dedicated medical team will help diagnose you and find proper treatment.

A cough can be a symptom of several illnesses and conditions, from the flu to allergies to indigestion. If you have a persistent cough, it may be worth treating with a medical provider.

While there are several similar symptoms, the flu (influenza) tends to be more severe than a cold. Common symptoms include:

  • Chills

  • Cough and/or chest discomfort

  • Fatigue or weakness for up to 2-3 weeks

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • General aches and pains

  • Runny nose

  • Sore throat

COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, ranging from mild to severe. Possible symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

Common Cold FAQs

If your child is under the age of 2, over-the-counter medications are not recommended. Instead, try using natural home remedies such as rest, hydration, healthy foods, warm baths, humidifiers and saline nose drops.

The simplest way to avoid catching a cold is to practice safe and effective hygiene.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Take 30 seconds to scrub every part of your hands.

  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold or respiratory symptoms. Stay home if you're sick.

  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Cover your mouth when you sneeze and encourage others to do the same.

  • Clean toys and surfaces regularly to help remove viruses from the objects you touch at home and at work.

For most people, a cold will last for about 7-10 days. However, some symptoms can linger for 14 days or longer. Learn more about treating the common cold.

When should you visit urgent care for common cold diagnosis treatment?

If you are feeling unwell and would like help understanding your symptoms and how best to treat them, check in online or walk in to a WellNow location nearest you.

This medical information has been reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Robert Biernbaum, Chief Medical Officer for WellNow Urgent Care.

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Illnesses We Treat

WellNow Urgent Care treats a variety of illnesses, infections and diseases along with their
associated symptoms. If you are feeling uncomfortable or unwell, our dedicated medical
team is prepared to deliver a personalized and tailored treatment plan to help you get
better, faster.

This list contains our most commonly treated illnesses and symptoms. If you are
experiencing an illness not listed or are unsure of the source of your discomfort, visit a
WellNow location near you
or start a virtual care session.

A - E

Abscesses and Cysts
Common Cold
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
COVID - 19
Ear Infections