The winter season is usually welcomed with open arms in the south! We relish the break from unbearable humidity levels and appreciate the dip in temperature. The sweatshirts and scarves that gather dust in the far corners of our closets for the majority of the year are worn almost daily—at least for a little while. But this welcomed weather is often accompanied with sickness. The winter months are prime time for viruses and bugs to latch onto our loved ones, threatening misery rather than joy. Be prepared for the illnesses that are lurking this winter and learn what steps you can take to ward them off.
The common cold. Sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, and coughing are symptoms of this viral infection that has to run its course. If a cold strikes someone in your home, the best thing to do is get lots of rest, drink plenty of water, and occasionally use a decongestant or over-the-counter medication to suppress symptoms. Because colds are viruses that spread from person to person, the best way to avoid catching a cold is to wash your hands regularly, avoid physical contact with someone who has a cold, wash shared hand towels, and sanitize commonly used items such as the remote control and doorknobs. If you do catch a cold, be patient and stock up on tissues. A common cold typically last for a week or two, but if it lasts longer or symptoms get stronger, find a TrustCare location near you.
Sometimes associated with colds, a sore throat is common in the winter months. Sore throats are typically viral and cannot be treated with medication. Many people find that over-the-counter medication helps manage discomfort that comes with a sore throat, including medicated sprays. Throat lozenges also help soothe a sore throat as well as gargling with warm salty water. Sore throats typically last only a week and should feel better each day. If it lasts longer than one week or the pain gets worse, there may be a bigger issue at hand such as strep throat, tonsillitis, or laryngitis. While antibiotics are not always prescribed, visit us at TrustCare Express Medical Clinics if you are concerned your sore throat may be a product of something more serious.
A stomach bug known as norovirus strikes most commonly in the winter months. Norovirus causes diarrhea and vomiting and is no fun for anyone. Sometimes a headache or fever may accompany this stomach bug and unfortunately, it lasts for a few days. The best thing to do in the event of a stomach bug is to stay home, rest, and drink lots of water. Dehydration is common with symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, so make sure you are replenishing your fluids throughout the day. The stomach bug is a highly contagious virus, so wash your hands often with soap and water, disinfect commonly shared surfaces—especially in the bathroom. Wash sheets and towels, and avoid contact with someone who has norovirus for 48 hours. If you, or your child, has a bloody stool or vomits 3 or more times within 24 hours, we recommend seeking medical attention. If you’re looking for a family friendly urgent care clinic, then TrustCare is the best place for you.
Short for influenza, this nasty virus can leave you feeling awful for the better part of a week. Symptoms might seem similar to a cold, but are much more severe. With the flu, you will have a fever, a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, chesty cough, headache, aches and pains, and fatigue. The flu will keep you out of school or work for the better part of the week, allowing you to spend that extra time getting lots of rest. Over-the-counter medication may help relieve some of the symptoms, but there is generally no medication that will attack the virus. Make sure you stay warm and drink plenty of fluids so you don’t get dehydrated. If someone in your family comes down with the flu, make sure you sanitize all shared items such as remotes, electronic devices, and door knobs, and wash your hands frequently. Someone with the flu is contagious from the time their symptoms begin until 3-7 days later. The flu should run its course within the week, but if symptoms persist or get worse, it’s time to seek medical help. If you are over the age of 65, pregnant, or have a long-term medical condition, don’t wait to see a healthcare professional.
Other issues like dry skin, cold hands and feet, cold sores, painful joints, and asthma attacks are also common in the winter months, so make sure you take care of yourself while you’re out enjoying the cold air. If you or your family members are struck down by one of the illnesses listed above and you need an urgent care clinic that you can trust, find one of our TrustCare Express locations and pay us a visit today.