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What causes high fever, dry cough, weakness and running nose?

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Posted on Fri, 6 May 2016
Question: My wife has had a fever for the last 4 days up to 101.3. Yesterday it is down but seems to fluctuate between98.4 and 99.3, she feels weak and has a dry cough and runny nose.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (14 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Some thoughts:

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

I am sorry to hear about your wife being sick.

With a high fever and cough, I think of two main problems: influenza (flu) and pneumonia.

Flu is caused by a virus so there is no medication to cure it. Symptoms are fever, body aches and sometimes chills, fatigue, and cough. There can be a runny nose too, like a cold.

Pneumonia symptoms usually involve a fever and cough. The cough is usually productive of purulent sputum - but not always. We do prescribe antibiotics for pneumonia as it is usually caused by bacteria. To diagnose pneumonia, the doctor listens to the lung fields and checks her chest xray. If she does not start to get better, or if the fever goes up or she has increased coughing, she should go in to clinic/doctor to be examined.

I noticed you listed both alleve and ibuprofen for her medications. Alleve is naproxen so both alleve and ibuprofen are in the same family - they are both NSAIDs. So I would advise using one or the other - not both.

Please let me know if I can provide further information to help you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3134 Questions

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What causes high fever, dry cough, weakness and running nose?

Brief Answer: Some thoughts: Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, I am sorry to hear about your wife being sick. With a high fever and cough, I think of two main problems: influenza (flu) and pneumonia. Flu is caused by a virus so there is no medication to cure it. Symptoms are fever, body aches and sometimes chills, fatigue, and cough. There can be a runny nose too, like a cold. Pneumonia symptoms usually involve a fever and cough. The cough is usually productive of purulent sputum - but not always. We do prescribe antibiotics for pneumonia as it is usually caused by bacteria. To diagnose pneumonia, the doctor listens to the lung fields and checks her chest xray. If she does not start to get better, or if the fever goes up or she has increased coughing, she should go in to clinic/doctor to be examined. I noticed you listed both alleve and ibuprofen for her medications. Alleve is naproxen so both alleve and ibuprofen are in the same family - they are both NSAIDs. So I would advise using one or the other - not both. Please let me know if I can provide further information to help you.