Aside from a stuffy nose and some general muscle aches, a cold or the flu shouldn't make you short of breath or cause pain in your chest. These could be signs of a more serious problem such as heart disease, asthma, or pneumonia. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room.
As a symptom of illness, sore throat rivals fatigue for being both commonplace and a potential sign of catastrophe. Usually, having a sore throat is nothing to worry about -- most are caused by cold and flu germs. In rare cases, however, a sore throat can signal something much more serious. One of the first symptoms of infection caused by the dreaded ebola virus, for example, is a sore throat.
And strep bacteria, a common cause of sore throat, especially in children, can spread like wildfire if...
A cough that won't go away is likely postnasal drip that can be treated with antihistamines. But it could also be related to asthma or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Your doctor can tell you about treatments that can help.
A lasting, severe cough is also the main symptom of whooping cough, which has become more common in many parts of the U.S. So, if you have an unexplained cough for more than 2-3 weeks, your doctor may test you for this type of infection.