Diagnosis of Common Cold
The common cold can be mistaken for hay fever (allergy) or bacterial disease such as a sinus infection or throat infection. Fever and more severe symptoms, especially muscle aches and cough, suggest the flu. If the disease comes on quickly, is not too severe and resolves in one to two weeks, it is usually the common cold. Allergies usually recur and can last for entire seasons.
Bacterial sinus infections are usually limited to the nose and usually will not resolve unless antibiotics are given. A stuffy nose, sore throat, and sneezing are usual signs of a cold. The clinical appearance of the patient is sufficient to diagnose the condition.