With spring around the corner, you might suspect that cold and flu season has faded away. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Common colds, the flu, strep throat, bacterial infections and RSV are still running wild in Atlanta this February and March.
A virus that is passed from person to person causes the common cold. Symptoms include sneezing, stuffiness, congestion, runny nose, coughing, sore throat and sometimes a low-grade fever. Only time can cure the cold, but if your symptoms last longer than 10 days, you may want to see your provider at Atlanta ENT to rule out a bacterial infection.
This year the flu has come with a variety of symptoms, ranging from those similar to the common cold, to severe stomach upset and high fevers, both of which can cause dehydration. The flu shot is a great way to prevent the flu, but is not a rock solid guarantee that you won’t still catch a strain of the flu during flu season.
Commonly found bacterial infections include strep throat, sinus infections, ear infections and respiratory infections. Often, bacterial infections are secondary to viral colds and flus. Your doctor can diagnose a bacterial infection, and most respond well to antibiotic treatment.
RSV is a virus that infects the lungs and breathing passageways. Many people contract RSV each year, but pass the symptoms off as a cold or flu. However, for people with compromised immune systems, the elderly and infants, RSV can be a deadly virus. If difficulty breathing occurs with any cold or flu, seek a doctor’s opinion immediately, especially those in high-risk categories.
Ramie A. Tritt, MD, President of Atlanta ENT