I Have A Runny Nose, Am I Getting Sick?

woman blowing nose

Winter time often means holidays, family get-togethers and big meals, but it also means cold weather. When the weather turns cold, certain illnesses like the cold and flu become more common. So how do you tell what seasonal illness you have? Doctors look at your symptoms for guidance.

Diagnosing your illness without consulting a medical professional can be dangerous. You should always consult a medical professional to find out the best way to treat any medical condition.

At California Urgent Care Center, we diagnose and treat winter ailments regularly. So, we know the difference between the flu or the common cold. Here are a few symptoms you might find it handy to know when you are trying to figure out what condition you have.

Mild Symptoms

Runny Nose and Congestion

Many winter illnesses cause congestion and a runny nose, which—on its own—is often easily treated. But identifying what you have based solely on congestion is difficult. Allergies, dry air, sinusitis, and thyroid disease can all cause these symptoms. A better indicator of what you could have is the onset of time.

Any symptom that persists regularly over time could indicate a chronic condition. For example, chronic sinusitis, autoimmune thyroid diseases or even allergies can be responsible for reoccurring congestion.

However, sudden onset nasal congestion can indicate an infection. Consulting a doctor to figure out what type of infection is the wisest course of action.


Fever often accompanies bacterial and viral infections. This symptom is often the body’s response to infectious pathogens. Most doctors consider a body temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher a fever. You should consult with a physician immediately if you have a temperature of 103 degrees or more.


Many different illnesses can cause a cough. But when it is paired with other symptoms, we start to understand what conditions it may indicate. For example, a cough with congestion could indicate a cold, flu, or COVID-19 infection. However, a cough and body aches could indicate just flu or COVID.

Body Aches

This symptom is usually an indicator of an infection. If you feel achy and fatigued, allergies or sinusitis can usually be ruled out.

Severe Symptoms

Individuals displaying any of the following symptoms in addition to the ones from above should see a doctor right away.

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • High-grade fever

Different symptoms and their severity can indicate serious conditions such as a severe case of COVID-19, pneumonia, or worse.

Need Medical Assistance Fast? Come See the Staff at Our Urgent Care Center

If you are dealing with a winter ailment, give your doctor a call. However, if you do not want to wait to get in with your doctor, consider our urgent care clinic.

You can call to set up an appointment or walk in. A member of our medical staff will see you promptly to get you on the path of feeling better. We have locations in Lodi, Manteca, and Stockton, so there is always a California Urgent Care Center near you. Just give us a call or fill out our online contact form.