Doctors: Untreated common cold symptoms could progress into pneumonia

Posted: Updated:

Doctors are reminding the public that what could start out as the common cold can quickly progress to something more serious like pneumonia.

Dr. Sameer Khanijo, a pulmonary critical care physician at North Shore University Hospital, says people should be aware of potentially changing symptoms, including coughing, fever, chills and difficulty breathing. He says a person's overall health, age and underlying medical conditions can impact a patient fighting pneumonia.

"As the pneumonia gets worse, it can also cause impact on your heart. It can cause impact on the rest of your body. It can make your blood pressure lower to the point where you're not getting blood flow to the rest of your organs," says Dr. Khanijo. 

Doctors say not every case of pneumonia will require antibiotics.

The reminder comes after the sudden death of ESPN college football reporter Edward Aschoff, 34, who tweeted earlier this month to ask if anyone was familiar with multifocal pneumonia, saying he was being treated with antibiotics. It's unclear if Aschoff had any underlying medical condition.

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