HealthONE - November 20, 2020

Coughs and sore throats often seem like common, everyday illnesses where you recover in a few days, especially during flu season. However, if they are accompanied by any of the symptoms below or if your immune system is compromised due to an existing condition, you may need to seek emergency treatment.

Coughs and sore throats can be more serious with other symptoms

Seek treatment at a Denver ER near you if the cough or sore throat is accompanied by:

  • Coughing up blood or green/yellow sputum
  • Difficulty breathing
  • High fever
  • Inability to completely open mouth
  • Inability to swallow
  • Muffled voice
  • Severe chest pain (could indicate pneumonia, collapsed lung or broken rib)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Significant swelling on one side of the throat, which may indicate an abscess of the tonsil

Cough and sore throats pose greater risks to those with weakened immune systems

Even the common cold can cause serious complications if you have some conditions that leave the immune system weakened.

Your immune system can be compromised by:

  • Cancer
  • Existing severe infection or illness
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Recent transplant (and accompanying transplant medication)

If your immune system is compromised and you are coughing or have a sore throat, seek emergency care immediately.

Helpful links