Treating the Common Cold

by Nurse Rose Melendez | WGTS 91.9 FM

During the fall and winter, there tends to be a spike in the number of people who come down with cold and flu. Longtime nurse and mom of three, Rose Melendez, RN, offers her tips to help you get through a cold. 

How can you tell the difference between a cold and the flu?

Nurse Rose: Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between the common cold and the flu. Typically, the common cold, or an upper respiratory infection, is less severe and resolves in a few days, while the flu causes serious illness like fever and chills.

Symptoms of the common cold include:

  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Cough

How can you treat a cold?

Nurse Rose: Unfortunately, there’s no cure for the common cold except rest. You can however ease your symptoms. Most of the time, a common cold can be treated at home and resolves within 10 days.

The best treatments include:

  • Rest
  • Fluids
  • Over-the-counter pain reliever or nasal decongestant

When should you see a doctor?

Nurse Rose: Visit an urgent care center or see your primary care doctor if your symptoms do not resolve after about four days and you develop ear pain, fever, body aches or increased sore throat or headache.

Seek medical attention right away if you see any of these signs of severe flu in your children:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids or not eating
  • Persistent high fever
  • Fever with rash
  • Behavioral changes like irritability, listlessness and not interacting with others


Rose Melendez, RN

Rose Melendez, RN

Head of Emergency Department

Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.

Need your flu shot? Visit Adventist HealthCare Urgent Care. Walk-ins and online appointments available today.