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What causes chills, headache and shortness of breath? 12 possible conditions

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.


Cold and Flu Overview

Common colds and influenza are contagious infections that affect the respiratory system. Both are airborne illnesses, spread through coughing and sneezing. Shared symptoms include headache, cough, sore throat, and more.

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Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. General symptoms include chest pain, fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

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Swine Flu

Swine flu, also known as H1N1, is a highly contagious virus with symptoms similar to common influenza types. It spreads quickly from person to person, and can linger on tables and surface areas.

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The Atypical Facts About Atypical Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation of the lungs. Atypical pneumonia is a kind that isn't caused by the bacteria that causes typical pneumonia.

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Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs. A severe and long-lasting cough, fever, and night sweats could indicate an active TB infection.

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Infectious Mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis, or "mono," is a group of symptoms caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. One potential symptom is a pink rash that looks like the measles.

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Legionnaires' Disease

Legionnaires' disease is a serious type of lung infection, or pneumonia, caused by bacteria. Fever, chills, cough, and head and muscle aches are common symptoms.

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Histoplasmosis is a noncommunicable disease caused by certain fungal spores. Red bumps on the lower legs are one sign of this condition.

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Parrot Fever (Psittacosis)

Parrot fever is an infection caused by a specific type of bacteria called Chlamydia psittaci. In most cases, humans catch parrot fever from birds, including parrots, chickens, turkeys, pigeons, cockatiels, parakeets...

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SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a particularly serious form of viral pneumonia. In addition to fever, dry cough, breathing problems, and several other symptoms, one symptom of SARS is a rash.

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Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis)

Coccidioidomycosis, also known as valley fever, is a fungal infection that starts in the lungs and can potentially spread to the rest of the body. Fever, chills and sweating are common.

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Transfusion Reactions

A transfusion reaction is a rare condition that occurs when a person receives a transfusion with blood that is not matched to their blood type. This may cause symptoms such as back pain, fever, fainting, or dizziness.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.