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What’s going around: Upper respiratory illnesses


Madison (WKOW) - The novel coronavirus has been in the news the past couple weeks, and while doctors say the risk to the public in Wisconsin is low, the symptoms are similar to other, more common, bugs.

This week, upper respiratory illnesses are going around. Dr. Danielle Gindlesberger from SSM Health Dean Medical Group Family Medicine in Madison said sicknesses like the flu, RSV and colds are hitting the area hard right now.

She said with all viral infections, you need to remember antibiotics won't work so treating your symptoms at home might be best.

What You Can Do at Home

  • Drink plenty of liquids, particularly water.
  • Honey is great for coating a sore throat and reducing coughing. (Remember, don’t give honey to children younger than 1-year-old.)
  • Make sure to get extra rest.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help with headaches and body aches, as well as control fever.

Stop the Spread

  • Help reduce the spread of these viral infections by staying home when you’re sick. Dr. Gindlesberger recommends staying home from school, work or public events for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone.
  • Don’t forget to cover any coughs – coughing into your elbow is best – and use good hand hygiene practices by washing hands frequently with soap and water.
  • After someone has been sick at your house, remember to disinfect surfaces and bedding to help reduce the risk of others getting sick.

If you're still not feeling better within two weeks, call your doctor to see if you need to be checked for a sinus infection or other complications.

If you or a family member has trouble breathing from coughing or a high fever, seek medical attention right away.

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