When to Worry About a Lingering Cough

The common cold, and other viral infections, are starting to work their way through schools, offices and neighborhoods. The symptoms can range from a running nose, congestion, headaches, chills, and coughing.


When to see a doctor

A cough can come from several ailments and could also be from allergies. Typical viral illnesses will run their course through the body even without antibiotics. But if the symptoms persist, then a doctor visit might be what you need.

“If you have a cough for more than two to three weeks, then you should get checked out,” said William Daines, MD, Intermountain Connect Care medical director.

It’s important at that time to have a medical visit but it does not mean you have to rush into an emergency room. You can schedule an appointment or use Connect Care first to see if your ailments are more serious than a viral infection working its way out.

“Connect Care visits can help you determine, just based on your symptoms, whether there is cause for an immediate concern or not. We are not going to be able to listen to your chest or do an x-ray, common things that a doctor would do in an in-person visit,” said Dr. Daines. “If you’re concerned about whether you need to see someone right away, that’s something that Connect Care would be good for.”

A Connect Care visit is a flat $49 or less (depending on your insurance) where you can access a telehealth provider 24/7/365 from your smart phone, tablet, or computer. A telehealth provider will also have access to your medical records to see your health history.

“The records we create during Connect Care live as part of your regular Intermountain medical records,” said Dr. Daines. “The Connect Care provider would be able to see any previous notes or visits that were done within the Intermountain system.”

Connect Care can be accessed at www.intermountainconnectcare.org or by downloading the app for Apple or Android.

It’s important to know that there are choices in how you see a doctor.

You need a Primary Care Provider or a refill of a prescription

Connect Care is a great way to get care for urgent care issues, but taking care of chronic health issues (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, and others) is not our main focus, so our providers do not generally issue refills of long-term medications. If you are in need of a refill of your ongoing medications, please contact your regular provider. If you are new to the area or need a new primary care provider for any other reason, please visit https://intermountainhealthcare.org/find-a-doctor/ to find a provider in your area.

You’re looking for pain medication or other controlled substances

As a matter of law, healthcare providers cannot issue prescriptions for controlled substances without seeing the patient in person. Because Connect Care visits are conducted over video, our providers are strictly prohibited from issuing these sorts of prescriptions. Commonly used controlled substances include medications for pain (hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, Norco, Percocet, Tramadol, etc.), anxiety/panic (alprazolam/Xanax, lorazepam/Ativan, clonazepam/Klonopin, diazepam/Valium etc.), and ADHD (Ritalin, Adderall, etc.). If you are in need of a refill of your ongoing medications, please contact your regular provider for refills. If you don’t have one, see the information above for help finding one.