How can you tell if you have a cold virus or something more? Dr. Majd reviews the typical course of the common cold virus, and explains how the symptoms begin and play out through time. If you understand the typical viral course, you will know when you should see the doctor and when you should stay home. There’s no cure for the common cold virus, it is self-resolving; and prescription antibiotics work only on bacteria (not viruses). So why waste time at the doctor’s office when it’s not necessary? Check out my link below on how to best treat the symptoms of a common cold until it plays itself out.