Cold and Flu Season

Whether you refer to it as “the crud” or “the sniffles” , having a cold can put a damper on your plans. The medical community terms our colds as “Upper Respiratory Infections”. Read on to discover some tips.

Cold and Flu Season are Here!

The following information was handed to me by a physician in the ER.  (I was not in the ER for a cold, but while I was there I was handed a sheet of paper with this information.)  There are not any references that I can point you to, for the following material, so check with your own Primary Care Doctor about this.

at the end of this post there will be a link to find further information.

Facts about Upper Respiratory Infections:

According to the packet handed to me, cold symptoms are worse the first 3 to 5 days and do not get better with antibiotics. (My personal interpretation of this- do not waste your time or money if you feel you just have a common cold. Instead, drink plenty of water and take Vitamin C to flush it out… I also rely heavily on green tea, Echinacea, and household sanitizers for colds… But, that is just me.)

Important points about colds:

When should you visit a physician?

Contact your primary care doctor if you have:
1. A fever over 102 degrees (39 degrees Celsius).
2. A sore throat that gets worse or you see white or yellow spots in your throat.
3. A rash anywhere on your skin.
4. Large, tender lumps in your neck.

Also contact your physician if you have:

5. A bad earache.
6. Thick, green, or yellow discharge from your nose.
7. Thick yellow, green, gray, or bloody mucus that you are coughing up.
8. Vomiting for more than 24 hours and cannot keep fluids down.
9. Severe headaches, a stiff neck, or eye pain when you look at bright light.
10. Chest pain or trouble breathing.

Treating a cold at home:

What can you do at home for an Upper Respiratory Infection?
– Saline drops to help with nasal congestion.
– Drink liquids- they keep air passages moist and help you cough up mucus.
– A humidifier or vaporizer.
– Gargle- add 1/4 teaspoon salt to 1 cup warm water.
– Sore throat spray or lozenges.
– Rest as much as possible.


How to prevent the spread of a cold:

1. Do not share food or drinks.
2. Do not share hand towels.
3. Stay away from others during the first 2-3 days of the cold.
4. Hand washing- the proper way (vigorously scrub with soap for a full 20 seconds).

I could elaborate for a while on the correct way to wash hands, since employees had to take in-service classes on hand washing at the hospital.

Hand washing:

Just imagine someone who you know works in a clinical area- wash your hands like they would. It has been said that drying your hands on a clean paper towel, just as vigorously, further illuminates germs. Then, do not touch the door handle on your way out of the bathroom, whereby re-infecting yourself. Instead, use a shirt sleeve or another paper towel to open the door and turn off the light.


For more information on staying well during cold and flu season check out a previous page, on the topic, by clicking here. We also have pages on tips for headaches, back pain and stomach pain, Alzheimer’s/ Dementia, essential oils, and preparing for hospital stays. Simply click the blue underlined words to access those pages of information.

Additional resources:

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