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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes body ache, stiff neck, headache and sore throat?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Kathy Robinson

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1989

Answered : 3478 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 6 Sep 2016 in Infections
Question: i have had symptoms for 4 days: body ache, stiff neck/shoulder, headache, sore throat. how do I know if this is viral or something else? there is no congestion but I do have a cough and sort throat.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 22 minutes later
Brief Answer:
some thoughts on this

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thank you for your question,
Sometimes it is hard to sort out if an illness like this is viral or bacterial. As you know viral infections usually clear up on their own but bacterial infections may need an antibiotic to clear up.
Here are some ways to tell the difference:
High fevers are usually a sign of bacterial infection
Viral infections often have a low grade fever or no fever at all
Viral infections usually do not cause severe headache
Severe headache and neck stiffness with fever could be meningitis and in this case you need to go immediately to Emergency
In patients with strep throat (bacterial) they usually do not have a cough
Cough and sore throat with low grade or no fever is usually viral
Viral infections usually start getting better in a few days and clear up in a week to ten days
Often bacterial infections get worse until they are treated
I hope this helps and let me know if you have further questions
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kathy Robinson 14 hours later
Are there any meds I should be taking?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
can't tell you that

Detailed Answer:
From the above information, if the illness seems to you that it may be bacterial then you need to see a doctor to get an evaluation and possibly an antibiotic.
If you think it is viral then all you can do is supportive care. That is staying hydrated taking something over the counter for fever, sore throat or cough if needed
Please let me know if you have other questions
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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