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I have fever and cough: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) (for Parents)


Care of Coughs, Colds, Sore Throats, and Fevers

General advice for upper respiratory infections

Handwashing with soap and water for at least 15-30 seconds covering all surfaces of the hands & fingers, rinsing well & drying thoroughly is the best way to avoid spreading infection. If hands are not visibly soiled, using an alcohol-based hand rub can also be effective. Be sure to cover all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry. Clean hands frequently.

Prevent the spread of the virus. Try not to sneeze or cough near others. Use paper tissues to decrease handling nasal secretions. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose as much as possible.

Symptomatic treatment is the mainstay of treatment for upper respiratory infections. Use your medications properly. Read the labels of medication(s) and follow directions closely.

Avoid using combination products to treat your symptoms. Treat symptoms individually and don’t take products that contain medications for symptoms you aren’t experiencing. Combination products may cause unnecessary side effects.

Antihistamines may not be helpful and have side effects such as drowsiness. The value of an antihistamine in the treatment of an upper respiratory infection remains controversial. Antihistamines are present in many cough/cold combination products.

Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. These lower your body’s resistance to infection. 

Rest. Resting for a day or two at 8-10 hours per day increases your ability to fight infection and prevent complications. 

Antibiotics are not helpful for a cold. URI’s are caused by viruses. Antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses. Unnecessary antibiotics may lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria (often needing treatment in the hospital), allergic reactions, and/or side effects (e.g. nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). 

Symptoms and Management Tips:

Nasal congestion and/or nasal discharge

Use nasal decongestant (oxymetazoline, such as Afrin®) or oral decongestant (pseudoephedrine, such as Sudafed®)  to shrink nasal passages; use nasal decongestants for 3 days or less to prevent rebound congestion. Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Drink hot liquids and eat hot soup to loosen nasal congestion. Use a saline spray for dry nasal passages. Note that oral decongestants must be signed out. 

Seek medical attention when you have symptoms that are not improved after 10 days, symptoms that are worse after 5-7 days, fever that is greater than 100.4°F or 38°C, a headache that does not go away, or a rash.


Use expectorants (guaifenesin, such as Robitussin® or Mucinex®) to thin and loosen mucous for a wet cough; use cough suppressants (dextromethorphan, such as Delsym® or Robitussin DM®) for a dry, hacking cough. Drink plenty of water to loosen mucous. Use hard candy such as Halls® or honey to quiet cough. Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.

Seek medical attention when you have a cough that lasts longer than 2 weeks, a cough that is accompanied by shortness of breath, wheezing, difficulty breathing, or chest pain, a fever that is greater than 100. 4°F or 38°C, or a rash.

Sore throat

Drink plenty of fluids and/or use hard candy to keep your throat moist. Use warm saline gargles every 3-4 hours (1tsp salt in 8oz warm water). Use lozenges (such as Cepastat®), gargles, or sprays containing antiseptics (such as Chloraseptic®) and topical anesthetics every 3-4 hours for pain. Don’t smoke/avoid secondhand smoke. Take an oral pain reliever (see info below).

Seek medical attention when you have rapid onset of throat pain (overnight for example), severe throat pain, sore throat with no other symptoms, neck glands that are large and tender, fever that is greater than 100.4°F or 38°C, a rash or difficulty breathing.


Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, even if you do not feel thirsty. Take oral pain reliever/fever reducer.

Seek medical attention when you have a fever that is greater than 100.4°F or 38°C, fever unresponsive to fever reducer, fever present for more than two to three days, or a rash.

Body aches / fatigue

Get plenty of rest—at least 8-10 hours of sleep with rest periods during the day. Take an oral pain reliever.

Seek medical attention when you have persistent fatigue for more than 8-10 days or a rash.


Take an oral pain reliever.

Seek medical attention when you have ear pain.

Oral Pain Relievers/Fever Reducers

Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) – for pain/fever. Comes in 325 or 500 mg tablets. Can take 650-1000 mg 3 times daily. Do not exceed 4,000 mg/24 hrs. Some OTC cold and flu medications contain acetaminophen.
Ibuprofen (Advil®) – for pain/fever/inflammation. Comes in 200 mg tablets. Can take 400-600 mg 3 times daily with food. Do not exceed 2400 mg/24 hrs.
Naproxen sodium (Aleve®) – for pain/fever/inflammation. Comes in 220 mg tablets. Can take 220 mg – 440 mg twice daily with food.

Call Campus Health at 919.966.2281 if you have any questions, concerns or would like to make an appointment to be seen.

*All brands listed on this webpage are available at the Healthy Heels Shoppe on the ground floor of Campus Health and the Student Stores Pharmacy on the top floor of Student Stores.

Upper Respiratory Infection BrochureDownload

COVID Symptoms — Frequently Asked Questions | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Reviewed By:

Updated on January 27, 2022

Do you know the symptoms of COVID-19? Knowing the warning signs can help you take the right steps if you or loved ones become sick. Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H., senior director of infection prevention for the Johns Hopkins Health System, explains what to look for and when to get help.

What are symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms are:

  • Cough
  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Congestion or runny nose

Some of these symptoms are very common and can occur due to many conditions other than COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus called SARS CoV-2. If you have any of the symptoms, contact a doctor or other health care provider, who can assess your risk and help you determine the next steps.

Emergency Warning Signs of Severe COVID-19

When to Call 911

If you or someone in your household is experiencing any of the following symptoms, call 911 or your local emergency room right away and let the operator know that you are calling for someone who might have COVID-19:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake up or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

There are other possible symptoms of COVID-19. Call your doctor or health care center regarding any symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

When should I contact a doctor about my symptoms?

If you feel ill, call your doctor’s office or health care center and explain your symptoms over the phone. The next steps will be discussed, including whether you should have a coronavirus test. If it turns out that you have COVID-19, mild cases can be managed at home with rest and self-isolation. If you become severely ill, you may need hospital care.

If I’m exposed to the coronavirus, how long will it be before I might develop symptoms?

Symptoms can begin two to 14 days after you have been infected with SARS-CoV-2. A study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows that the median time for symptoms to show up is about five days, however, CDC research suggests that the median time for omicron symptoms to develop is about three days. 

If you suspect you were exposed to or had close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should self-quarantine, watch for symptoms and consider getting tested four or five days following the exposure. Exposure is contact with someone infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in a way that increases the likelihood of becoming infected with the virus. Close contact is being less than 6 feet away from an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinical diagnosis) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more during a 24-hour period.

Please review CDC guidelines for isolation and quarantine to help prevent the spread of COVID-19

What are the first symptoms of coronavirus infection?

Early symptoms reported by some people include fatigue, headache, sore throat and fever. Others experience a loss of smell or taste. COVID-19 can cause symptoms that are mild at first, but then become more intense over five to seven days, with worsening cough and shortness of breath. Some people who have COVID-19 develop pneumonia.

The type and severity of first symptoms can vary widely from person to person. This is why it is very important to call your doctor if you have symptoms, even mild ones.

Can you have the coronavirus without a fever?

Yes. A fever is one of the common symptoms of COVID-19, but you can be infected with the coronavirus and have a cough or other symptoms with no fever, or a very low-grade one especially in the first few days. Keep in mind that it is also possible to have the coronavirus with minimal symptoms or even no symptoms at all. People infected with the coronavirus who have no symptoms can still spread the virus to others.

Can you have the coronavirus without a cough?

Yes. A cough is one of the common symptoms of COVID-19, but it is not always present. You can be infected with the coronavirus and not have a cough. If you do have one, it may be mild and infrequent, or you may cough heavily at times. Remember that it is possible to have COVID-19 with minimal symptoms or even no symptoms at all. People infected with the coronavirus who have no symptoms can still spread the virus to others.

Can COVID-19 symptoms come and go?

Yes. During the recovery process, people with COVID-19 might experience recurring symptoms alternating with periods of feeling better. Varying degrees of fever, fatigue and breathing problems can occur, on and off, for days or even weeks.

Can you have COVID-19 without symptoms?

Yes. Symptoms of COVID-19 usually show up two to 14 days after exposure to SARS-CoV-2, but some people who are infected do not develop symptoms or feel ill. When this happens, a person is called asymptomatic. This is why it is so important to wear a face mask and to practice physical distancing and hand hygiene. People can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and not realize it, but still be able to transmit the virus to other people.

What are COVID-19 symptoms in children?

Like adults, babies and children with COVID-19 can have symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing and diarrhea. Cases have been increasing among children, as indicated by recent data from the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Children may also be at risk for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) an uncommon but serious complication of the coronavirus. Parents and guardians should be on guard for signs of MIS-C and call their child’s doctor immediately if they appear.

Coronavirus Symptoms and Other Conditions:

How are coronavirus symptoms different from allergy symptoms? What about flu, colds and strep throat?

COVID-19 shares symptoms with other conditions such as allergies, the flu and strep throat. It may be very hard to tell the difference between COVID-19 and flu without a test.

If you have symptoms that might be due to the coronavirus, contact a health care provider, describe your symptoms and follow the provider’s recommendations.

Learn more about COVID-19 and the flu.

If I receive the coronavirus vaccine, will I get COVID-19 symptoms?

No. The COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration cannot and will not give you COVID-19. These coronavirus vaccines can cause side effects because they activate your immune system, but this does not mean you are infected with the coronavirus or that you have COVID-19. As your immune system responds to the vaccine and learns to recognize and fight the coronavirus, fever, pain at the injection site and muscle aches are possible, but these are usually both mild and temporary. Learn more about the safety of the coronavirus vaccines.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What you need to know from Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Learn more

Consequences of ARVI and influenza: why there is a cough and a fever | Pneumonia in adults and children: symptoms and treatment

We rejoice in the first spring warmth not only because the hated snowdrifts are melting before our eyes, but also because the season of SARS and flu is ending, which did not allow us to live in peace. Many have been ill with SARS (or influenza) since the fall, some even more than once. What if, after an illness, a person cannot fully recover, and, as the inhabitants of Prostokvashino wrote, “it hurts his paws, then his tail falls off”? With these questions, we came to the pulmonologist, candidate of medical sciences Natalya Esaulova.

— Natalya Alexandrovna, very often after SARS a person has no strength for almost anything. Is it really connected with the fact that the person has been ill? What should be done in such a case?

– Weakness, loss of appetite and disability – these symptoms really fit into the so-called post-viral asthenia syndrome. Yes, it has its own separate name and is described in the medical literature. But this syndrome cannot last more than one and a half to two weeks. If the discomfort lasts longer, other symptoms join, then you don’t need to wait, you should go to the doctor.

— Is it worth it to take vitamins, immunostimulants, other drugs during these one and a half weeks or maybe longer? Some begin to advise ginseng, others adaptogens. How much are they needed?

— If we are in the position of evidence-based medicine, then we must honestly admit that the clinical effect of taking adaptogens, vitamins and immunomodulatory drugs has not been proven. And I would not advise taking immunomodulators without consulting a doctor.

— Well, what should a recovering person do then?

— The most important thing is to protect yourself from re-infection. This does not mean that you have to wear a mask to work. By the way, a medical mask has an effect only when it is worn not by a healthy, but by a sick person. She closes his nose, mouth, preventing the spread of droplets of saliva, which contains a large number of viral particles. Moreover, the mask must be changed every two hours.

Remember, if you are healthy, then wearing a medical mask is useless


For those who have recently had ARVI, we advise you to walk more in the fresh air, avoid crowded places especially if they are poorly ventilated. Viral particles remain active for hours in dry, warm and still air, but are destroyed almost instantly in cool, humid and moving air. Wash your hands more often and avoid touching your face. The patient touches his face, the virus gets on his hands, from his hands – on doorknobs, furniture, dishes, etc. A healthy person, touching all this with his hand, has a high chance of getting sick too. You need to try to get enough sleep and eat right. Be sure to additionally moisturize the nasal mucosa. By the way, if after SARS you could not refuse vasoconstrictor drops and continue to dry the nasal mucosa with them, then it will become much more difficult to fight a new infection of your overdried mucosa, and the risk of getting sick again will be higher.

When can I start playing sports?

— Unless otherwise advised by the doctor, two weeks after recovery, you can gradually return to your normal activities. But the first training should still be at half strength.

— Can I drink alcohol?

— With the abolition of antiviral therapy and antibiotics, alcoholic beverages can theoretically be consumed. But, of course, everything needs a measure.

— What about a cough? Patients and especially young mothers have such a term – “residual cough”. How long can it last?

Cough after a respiratory viral infection may persist, but not more than a week and a half after the doctor discharged the patient from the hospital. At the same time, it should have a clear tendency to decrease. If you cough longer, and against this background there is a feeling of lack of air from time to time, there is a feeling of an incomplete inhalation or exhalation, chest pains appear, sputum comes out – here you need to immediately run to the doctor.

A prolonged cough after a cold can lead to bronchial asthma


— What could it be?

The most common cause of prolonged cough after ARVI is secondary broncho-obstructive syndrome (BOS) or pathology of the upper respiratory tract. The main mechanism of biofeedback is bronchial hyperreactivity after an infection that a person has had. The bronchi are in a state of constant readiness to respond with spasm and swelling to the slightest irritant. I admit that in rare cases, obstruction (bronchospasm) may eventually pass without treatment. But at the same time, it is not excluded that in the future it will become a bridge to the development of bronchial asthma. I think that no one will be happy with this diagnosis, and therefore this syndrome needs to be treated.

— Are inhalers used for this? You come to the office and breathe it, colleagues are interested, and some already consider you sick and old …

– It is not necessarily inhalers. There are many drugs in other forms, including tablets, but the doctor must select and prescribe them. No need to go to the pharmacy for weeks and ask, they say, give me something for a cough. Take pity on yourself, treat yourself wisely.

Both inhalers and tablets help cough, but they are effective only when prescribed by a doctor


— Can you still have a temperature after SARS?

– If we are talking about SARS and influenza, the temperature can only be after pneumonia or if a person has other complications. If after SARS during the day the temperature rises to 37.1–37.5, this is an alarming symptom. The focus of inflammation can be anywhere: from the ENT organs to the kidneys, only a doctor should search for it.

— What symptoms, besides a prolonged cough and fever, should alert you after SARS?

Any infection, especially the flu, is stressful for the body. In order to recover, we mobilize all our strength, and against this background, chronic diseases can make themselves felt.

Has the person had high blood pressure at least once before? During or after SARS, a hypertensive crisis may occur. This suggests that such a patient needs to be more attentive to his blood pressure, normalize weight, follow a diet, limit salt intake, and stop smoking. So he will save himself from the development of a hypertensive crisis and, perhaps, a stroke in the future.

If you have problems with blood pressure, then during or after SARS, a hypertensive crisis can occur. Before a viral infection, there might not have been pain in the heart, but if they appeared during SARS or within a week or two after, you should go to the doctor and deal with the problem that has arisen. This is a warning signal, but when an intelligent person hears this signal, he uses it to his advantage. No need to be afraid, you need to act.

Myocarditis, that is, inflammation of the heart muscle tissue, can become a rather formidable complication after acute respiratory viral infections and acute respiratory infections, and here a visit to a doctor is mandatory. Myocarditis can manifest itself with symptoms such as weakness, sweating, fever. A person has a heartbeat, pain in the heart, he does not tolerate any physical activity. In this case, the sooner treatment begins, the lower the risk of disability and even disability in the future. Cardiomyopathy, which also occurs as an outcome of myocarditis, is one of the indications for a heart transplant operation.

Natalya Aleksandrovna is sure that the best protection against viral infections is vaccination


In a word, ARVI and influenza are a test of strength for the body. I will not be original if I say that the best protection for the future for each person will be vaccination against influenza, as the most dangerous viral infection of this group. Vaccination protects against life-threatening complications and ultimately saves not only our health, but also time and money for subsequent treatment.

causes, symptoms, treatment in women and men

Article content:

  • Causes of fever in women
  • Causes of feeling hot in men
  • Causes of hot flushes to the head
  • Causes of fever without fever
  • List of possible diseases
  • Diagnostics
  • Treatment

Intense fever throughout the body in adults can occur with excitement, stress. In women, this symptom often occurs during PMS and menopause. Why else throws in heat and sweat? Pathological causes include high blood pressure, thyroid disease, VVD, CNS pathology Source:
Pathophysiology of hot flashes. Focus on neurohumoral regulation. Kasyan V.N., Adamyan L.V. reproduction problems. 2017. No. 1. pp.115-121. If the fever appears frequently, then you need to contact a specialist and undergo a comprehensive examination.

Usually, the appointment includes a survey, examination of the patient, after which the doctor, if necessary, prescribes additional examination methods (laboratory, instrumental) to make a final diagnosis.

The choice of treatment depends on the causative factor. Be sure to carry out a correction of lifestyle and diet, medications, physiotherapy, psychotherapy can be prescribed. If a tumor is present, surgery may be performed to remove it.

Causes of fever in women

Quite often, the cause of a woman throwing a fever and sweating is pregnancy. At this time, the body is preparing for childbirth and a strong hormonal restructuring takes place in it, which affects the work of all organs and systems. The production of hormones either slows down or increases. This leads to sudden changes in blood pressure, arrhythmias, loss of appetite, nausea, as well as a feeling of heat, redness of the skin and increased sweating. Source:
Gynecology. National leadership. Savelyeva G.M., Sukhikh G.T., Serova V.N., Radzinsky V.E. Moscow: GEOTAR-Media. 2022..

Hot flashes and sweating also often occur before menstruation. In most cases, this does not pose a health risk. However, if the fever is accompanied by symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, heart pain, then you need to see a doctor and be examined.

Most often, a fever is thrown during menopause, which is also associated with hormonal changes in the body and the gradual extinction of reproductive function.

Causes of feeling hot in men

Feeling hot is a sign that the mechanism of thermoregulation is disturbed in the body. This process is also affected by the volume and speed of blood flow, the degree of filling of vessels with blood, the level of sex hormones.

Pathological causes of feeling hot in men include:

  • male menopause;
  • pathology of the heart and blood vessels – with VVD, atherosclerosis, blood circulation changes, which leads to a violation of thermoregulation;
  • CNS diseases – fever often accompanies cerebrovascular accidents;
  • withdrawal symptoms after taking drugs or alcohol;
  • incorrect administration of certain drugs.

Causes of hot flashes to the head

The main causes of this phenomenon can be:

  • strong excitement, shame;
  • male or female menopause;
  • high physical activity;
  • VSD;
  • arterial hypertension;
  • rapid introduction of nitrates;
  • disruption of the adrenal cortex;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • neoplasms and mechanical damage to the brain;
  • withdrawal syndrome.

Causes of fever without fever

Regular attacks of fever at normal body temperature may occur in the following cases:

  • hot, spicy food, alcohol;
  • panic attacks;
  • diabetes mellitus;
  • VSD;
  • strong emotions;
  • violation of the thyroid gland;
  • circulatory disorders in the brain;
  • hormone-dependent tumors;
  • allergy;
  • psychosomatic disorders.

Feeling hot without fever can also be a symptom of a coronavirus infection. At the same time, the rest of the spectrum of symptoms (pain in the joints, muscles, weakness, cough, and so on) is also present.

List of possible diseases

If the fever occurs rarely, due to the impact on the body of various external factors, then there is nothing to worry about. But if this symptom occurs constantly, then you need to see a doctor for an examination.

Most often, fever without fever is a symptom of the following pathological conditions:

  1. VSD. This disease is common and is a consequence of malfunctions in the autonomic nervous system. Treatment is usually medical. In the absence of therapy, complications may develop.
  2. Pathology of the thyroid gland. Fever is a consequence of hormonal imbalance. Along with this, other symptoms appear (for example, bulging eyes, weakness, a person may lose weight dramatically, and so on). If you experience these symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor.
  3. Violation of thermoregulation. Occurs due to a malfunction of the central nervous system.
  4. Arterial hypertension. In addition to feeling hot, patients may experience chest pain, tachycardia. Patients need to constantly monitor blood pressure and take antihypertensive drugs.

Fever with an increase in body temperature most often occurs in various infectious diseases.


When a fever occurs without fever, it is necessary first of all to take tests for the main hormones (prolactin, estrogens, cortisol, testosterone, progesterone). This will help to identify disorders in the pancreas and thyroid gland, to diagnose a number of different diseases. Source:
Fever in adults. Larry M.B. MSD Handbook. 2022..

If everything is in order with the hormones, then you need to visit a cardiologist. He will do an ECG, ultrasound of the heart, measure blood pressure. It is possible that this is the reason for the heat. If everything is in order here, then the patient can be referred to an oncologist. He will prescribe the necessary tests and conduct a complete examination. Often the cause of the problem is a malfunction of the nervous system. In this case, you need to visit a neurologist.


To get rid of the physiological causes of fever without fever, non-pharmacological methods are usually sufficient. A person just needs to normalize the regime of work and rest, start eating right, exclude spicy and spicy dishes that cause hot flashes. Food should not be too hot. Alcohol consumption, especially strong alcohol, should be reduced to a minimum.

In order not to provoke attacks of heat and a feeling of weakness in the body, you need to regularly ventilate the room, try to avoid being in stuffy rooms. If possible, it is recommended to exclude stress and nervous strain. Spend less time watching TV and phone.

If seizures recur frequently and for no apparent reason, you should consult a doctor.

Conservative therapy for fever can be prescribed only after the cause of its occurrence has been established. If fever and excessive sweating are the result of menopause, then hormone replacement therapy is prescribed. This allows you to improve overall well-being, relieve fever and other unpleasant symptoms.

Antihypertensive drugs are indicated for arterial hypertension. If fever is one of the symptoms of VVD, then sedatives may be prescribed. Initially, herbal preparations are prescribed (valerian, motherwort). If they do not give effect, then light tranquilizers are indicated. To stabilize the psycho-emotional background, the doctor may prescribe antidepressants. A good effect as part of complex therapy is given by multivitamins.

Fever is often a manifestation of emotional lability. In this case, patients are shown psychotherapy. In addition, physiotherapy techniques are shown to normalize the state of the nervous system.

Surgery may be done if the cause of the fever is thyroid tumors. If there are neoplasms in the brain, then the help of a neurosurgeon is needed. The specialist removes the tumor, after which the patient undergoes a course of radiation therapy.

Article sources:

  1. Pathophysiology of hot flashes. Focus on neurohumoral regulation. Kasyan V.N., Adamyan L.V. reproduction problems. 2017. No. 1. p.115-121
  2. Gynecology. National leadership. Savelyeva G.M., Sukhikh G.T., Serova V.N., Radzinsky V.E. Moscow: GEOTAR-Media. 2022.
  3. Fever in adults. Larry M.B. MSD Handbook. 2022.

Article published : 12/3/2014
Last updated : 4/23/2023

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