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Cold, Cough, Flu & Respiratory Infections Treatment Orange County, CA

Urgent Care for Cough, Cold, Flu, and Other Respiratory Infections

Urgent Care for Cough, Cold, Flu, and Other Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections (like the common cold and flu) can affect anyone at any time. While some respiratory infections can go away on their own, others like the flu and bronchitis may cause serious complications if they aren’t treated properly. And in the time of the Covid pandemic, the current Delta strain can also cause many of the same symptoms.

At our urgent care centers in Orange County, CA, we treat cough, cold, flu, and other respiratory infections with prompt and personalized care.

Highlights of Our Facilities

  • Open every day (our Costa Mesa facility to be open daily starting January 2022)
  • On-site lab and X-ray facilities for immediate diagnosis
  • Appointments available for Covid PCR testing
  • Certified, well-trained, and experienced providers
  • Friendly and compassionate on-board staff
  • Online check-in to get seen quickly
  • Free parking
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Cold Symptoms and When You Should Seek Medical Help

The common cold is a contagious respiratory infection that affects your nose, sinuses, throat, and trachea. It is more prevalent in spring and winter.


While many viruses can cause a cold, rhinoviruses are the most common. These viruses spread through the air when the infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. Therefore, you will likely contract the infection if you stay near someone who has a cold or by sharing utensils or objects with them.


Symptoms usually begin one to three days after contracting a cold. These symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Low-grade fever
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Watery eyes
  • Headache or body pain
  • Nasal congestion

When Do You Need an Urgent Care Visit?

Generally, the common cold does not require medical treatment and will go away on its own within 7-10 days. However, visit our urgent care facility if you have persistent or severe symptoms, including:

  • Recurrent fever or a fever above 101.3 F, lasting more than 3 days
  • Wheezing
  • Ear pain
  • Drowsiness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe body aches, headache, sore throat, or sinus pain
  • A persistent cough

How Do We Diagnose and Treat the Common Cold?

We diagnose the common cold according to your symptoms and how long you’ve had them.

Because of the Covid pandemic, we start assessments by telehealth, and can arrange for same-day drive up Covid testing if appropriate. We may order a chest X-ray or nasal/throat swab if we suspect your symptoms may have been caused by a bacterial infection or other conditions, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. For less severe infections we may prescribe over-the-counter medicines, cough syrup, and decongestants or antihistamines.

Flu: How It Differs from Covid and the Common Cold

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a highly contagious viral infection that affects your lungs. As the flu and Covid share many similar symptoms, it can be hard to tell them apart without testing. The major difference between the flu & Covid vs. the common cold is the severity of symptoms. The flu and Covid usually occur suddenly with severe symptoms, whereas cold symptoms tend to develop gradually and are usually associated with a sore throat and runny nose without significant fever, body aches, or loss of smell/taste.

Common flu and Covid symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Aching muscles and joints
  • Chills
  • Headache or body pain
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (common in children and more likely from flu)
  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Fatigue
  • Runny or stuffy nose

Flu Test, Vaccine, and Symptom Treatments at Family Care Centers

Unlike colds, the flu occurs seasonally, between November and March (occasionally into the early Summer). It is also important to know that symptoms alone won’t strictly determine whether you have a cold, flu, or Covid. That is why at our urgent care centers, we discuss testing options for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Depending on your symptoms and severity of the infection, our flu treatment may include:

  • Antiviral medications
  • Pain relievers

The best way to reduce your risk from respiratory viruses is a layered approach to reducing your risks, including hand washing, mask use, and vaccinations for influenza and Covid. We provide flu shots every year during flu season at all our urgent care centers, and Covid vaccinations are widely available through most pharmacies.

Other Respiratory Infections

Other Respiratory Infections We Treat at Our Urgent Care Clinics

We treat other respiratory infections that cause flu and cold-like symptoms, including:

Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (Affecting Nose, Throat, and Sinuses)

  • Laryngitis (inflammation or irritation of the voice box)
  • Sinusitis (Swelling or inflammation of the sinuses – tissues around the nasal passages)
  • Tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils – two oval-shaped tissue pads at the back of the throat)

Lower Respiratory Tract Infections (Affecting Lungs and Airways)

  • Pneumonia (inflammation of the air sacs in one or both lungs)
  • Bronchitis (inflammation of the bronchial tubes that carry air to and from the lungs)
  • Acute otitis media (middle ear infection)
  • Bronchiolitis (lung infection, common in children and infants)

If you have the flu, or any other respiratory infection, visit one of our urgent care clinics in Irvine, Fountain Valley, or Costa Mesa, CA, today for the right diagnosis and treatment for you. To avoid wait times, you can reserve your spot online.

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