At Your Appointment

Cold and Flu Appointment Guide

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Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • Please describe the symptoms and issues you’re having that led you to schedule this online appointment. Start at the beginning of this current episode and tell me how and when things have changed and progressed.
  • What other medical conditions do you have?
  • What medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements do you take?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Is anyone else in your household sick?
  • Do you live with anyone who is under the age of two, older than 65, pregnant, or has cancer or another disease that affects the immune system?
  • Describe your symptoms. Do you have a fever, chills, fatigue, sore throat, sneezing or a persistent cough?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • When did your symptoms start?
  • Have your symptoms been constant or did they improve and then return and get worse?
  • What makes your symptoms better or worse?
  • Have you had a flu shot?
  • What side effects are you experiencing with your medication?
  • What new symptoms are you experiencing?
  • Do my symptoms mean I have a cold or flu?
  • How do you diagnose cold and flu?
  • How do you know whether it is a cold or the flu?
  • What treatments are available for cold and flu?
  • What should I do if my symptoms get worse?
  • What treatments do you recommend for cold and flu?
  • Are there home remedies that would help me feel better?
  • Could another medical condition be causing or contributing to my symptoms?
  • What supplements can help treat cold and flu?
  • Do any of these treatments interfere with my regular medicines or medical conditions?
  • How can I protect others from catching my cold or flu?
  • When is it safe to return to work or school?
  • Could another medicine relieve my symptoms better with fewer side effects?
  • Are my new or different symptoms related to cold or flu?
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2018 Nov 7
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Cold Versus Flu. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/coldflu.htm
  2. Common Cold. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351611
  3. Influenza (Flu). Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/symptoms-causes/syc-20351719