December 30, 2008
Besides cold temperatures this winter, you can also expect winter illnesses. There haven't been any outbreaks yet, and doctors hope to keep it that way by helping patients prepare.
Coughing, sneezing, and the sniffles, all signs of the season with winter illnesses upon us. But it's not cold temperatures that make us sick, instead the cold weather drives us indoors.
"But in the winter time people are cooped up and have more chance of spreading germs," said Dr. Laura Ricciardi of Charlottesville Family Medicine.
There are preventative measures though.
"Healthy eating, healthy exercise, lifestyle changes, not smoking.and hand washing is extremely important," said Ricciardi.
Another tip, get a flu shot, if you haven't already done so it's not too late.
Doctors say the advice is especially important for those most at risk.
"The most susceptible are the very young, the very old, the people with weakened immune systems and chronic medical conditions," said Ricciardi.
But if you should get sick, how long should you wait before seeing the doctor.
"Sick for more than a week, it's probably time to call the doctor if signs of a flu, really high fever," said Ricciardi.
Dr. Ricciardi also says that you can help others not get sick by staying home.
"Staying home, not running errands, staying home from work if your able, staying home from school," said Ricciardi.
Doctors also say that you shouldn't give children or teenagers aspirin as it can be harmful.