Nasty winter virus leaving people feeling lousy

January 24, 2019 06:54 PM

While flu is prevalent across New York, there's another virus sweeping through places of business. It's the one that's got folks sneezing, coughing and feeling lousy.

Viruses that affect the upper respiratory tract are more common in the winter months and they spread easily because our doors and windows are closed.

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Unlike the flu -- which hits like a freight train, these viruses sort of blossom over a few hours. The treatment -- rest, fluid and over the counter medication to relieve discomfort. That's the prescription from the division chief of infectious diseases at Saratoga Hospital.

"You should take off from work if you're quite sick. But typically, these type of things will make you feel awful, they make you feel like you're going to die, but you're not going to die. You'll have cough, bring up sputum, you may have sinus congestion, headache, low-grade fevers with some chills and shakes, no appetite. Those type of symptoms are all consistent with this," explained Dr. Brian McDermott, an infectious disease specialist at Saratoga Hospital.

WEB EXTRA: Full interview with Dr. Brian McDermott

To avoid getting sick, Dr. McDermott says wash your hands often, clean your workspace and it's okay to forgo shaking hands with others.

Also, antibiotics are not effective against viral infections. Expect symptoms to last seven to 10 days.

A reminder, flu will hit hard and fast, cause fever of 102 or more, you'll suffer total body aches and chills and it's debilitating. If you think you have flu, call your doctor.

By the way, droplets from sneezing and coughing can travel up to six feet.


Benita Zahn

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