So you have a cold. When's it serious enough to see a doctor?

There seems to be a virus going around the Grand Strand and a lot of people are catching it.

Most of them will just work their way through a cold, using some over-the-counter remedy to get rid of the symptoms and waiting for the bug to go away.

But what if it's more serious? How do you know if you should you see a doctor?

"If you're starting to spike fevers, if you just generally feel very, very run down, and if your symptoms have lasted for several days, especially if it's more than a week, it's definitely time to have some interaction with your physician," said Dr. Ron Reynolds of Beach Urgent Care in Horry County.

Dr. Reynolds said you should certainly see a doctor if you have wheezing, discomfort with breathing or hear an unusual noise in your chest.

When it comes to something going around, Reynolds said, the cold virus is just the start. "This time of year, we're seeing a lot of strep throat, we're seeing or will be seeing a lot of flu in the next few weeks."

When someone who has a cold walks into a doctor's office, the doctor may feel pressured to just write out a prescription for an antibiotic and send the patient on his way. Reynolds said that does sometimes happen and more often in Myrtle Beach than in most other places.

"We obviously have a lot of tourists that come to Myrtle Beach," Reynolds said. "They don't have the luxury of being able to see their doctor the next day if they're still feeling a little bad. So sometimes with that scenario you tend to be a little bit more aggressive."

But Reynolds said the decision still has to based on a physical examination.

Much depends on how you feel in general, he said, and if your cold has you feeling really run down, you should see a doctor.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 62 million cases of the common cold occur in the U.S. each year.