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Cold and flu

The common cold and flu has similar symptoms, so that it is difficult to differentiate at any early stage.

  • Can I talk to a doctor on about my common cold?


Yes, provides virtual care services for common cold and flu. A doctor will take a history and may provide you with prescriptions. Depending on the type of cold and flu, and the severity of the symptoms further recommendations will be provided. If the patient’s symptoms are rapidly progressing and indicative of a severe viral infection, the doctor will direct him/her to clinic treatment.


  • What is Common cold?


Common cold is a mild respiratory infection, while flu is more serious. Flu is caused by influenza virus. In immunocompromised patients, respiratory infections rapidly progress and lead to pneumonia[1]. In general, flu is worse than the cold due to its rapid spread. Doctors diagnose common cold and flu by characteristic signs and symptoms.


  • What are the symptoms of common cold and flu?


Symptoms of common cold are gradual, with rare high-grade fever and mild to moderate chest discomfort. Some patients can even present with a sore throat. In flu, patient experiences a more abrupt onset of symptoms. Fever, chills, body aches, headaches and stuffy nose are common symptoms of seasonal viral flu[2] and may settle down in 3-4 days of the attack[3].  These symptoms are seen in almost all the patients who suffer from cold and flu. 


  • How is common cold treated?


Most commonly a cold settles on its own. Hydration and nutrition should be maintained in optimum condition to ensure a faster recovery. Acetaminophen may be prescribed for the associated fever and body aches. Prescriptions may be provided by doctors in the clinic, including analgesics for pain relief, anti-inflammatory medications to control the fever and malaise[4, 5]. If symptoms of cold and flu are not settled within 3-4 days and doctors may add antiviral drugs to their prescription in order to control the spread of the infection[6, 7].   


  • How can an online doctor on treat common cold and flu?


Online doctor on treats cold and flu through virtual services[8, 9]. An appointment can be easily made with an online doctor. Cold and flu can be treated via virtual care by monitoring symptoms of common cold or hallmarks of viral infection[10, 11]. With a thermometer available at home, the body temperature can be checked and reported to the doctor. An online doctor will take a history of your signs and symptoms and may provide you with prescriptions. Prescriptions can be obtained by online doctors. Virtual care services provided by assure comfort, convenience and a higher level of care for the patient[9].



1. Davis, S., A cold or the flu–why is it important to know? South African Pharmacist’s Assistant, 2017. 17(2): p. 8-10.
2. Cold, S.C., Flu. Nightime Relief. Acetaminophen, Doxylamine, Dextromethorphan, Alcohyl. 10(6).
3. Braun, B.L., et al., Patient beliefs about the characteristics, causes, and care of the common cold. Journal of Family Practice, 2000. 49(2): p. 153-153.
4. Sun, Q., et al., Overuse of antibiotics for the common cold–attitudes and behaviors among doctors in rural areas of Shandong Province, China. BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology, 2015. 16(1): p. 1-6.
5. Schaffer, A.L., et al., Changes in sales of analgesics to pharmacies after codeine was rescheduled as a prescription only medicine. Medical Journal of Australia, 2020. 212(7): p. 321-327.
6. Tsutsumi, M., et al., Reasons for the preference of clinic visits to self‐medication by common cold patients in Japan. Journal of general and family medicine, 2017. 18(6): p. 336-340.
7. Rudkin, A.K., et al., Bilateral simultaneous acute angle closure glaucoma precipitated by non‐prescription cold and flu medication. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 2010. 22(5): p. 477-479.
8. Ellis, D.G., et al., A telemedicine model for emergency care in a short-term correctional facility. Telemedicine journal and e-health, 2001. 7(2): p. 87-92.
9. Holtz, B.E., Patients perceptions of telemedicine visits before and after the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Telemedicine and e-Health, 2021. 27(1): p. 107-112.
10. Elliott, T. and M.C. Yopes, Direct-to-consumer telemedicine. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, 2019. 7(8): p. 2546-2552.
11. Agomo, C., Telemedicine–Improving health services through technology. Pharmaceutical Journal, 2008. 281(7512): p. 103-105.

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