Staying healthy while illness spreads

The respiratory type sickness is one that is normal for this time of the year, but seems to have hit the region more than it usually does. In most cases it's a viral illness causing coughing, sneezing, runny nose and congestion. Since it's caused by a virus antibiotics won't help. Over the counter medications, especially fever and cough reducers can give some comfort while the body recovers. Staying hydrated is also important and getting plenty of rest can help speed along the recovery process.

According to Brian Boley, PA-C at Denver Health Medical Center, they are seeing many people with just this type of condition. His recommendation is for everyone to practice good hand washing and for all of us, especially our children, to learn to cough into our elbow instead of our hand. It's what's known as the vampire cough technique. That way we can all help stop this virus from spreading throughout the area.

The other condition hitting the area right now is a gastrointestinal bug, causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal discomfort. Usually symptoms peak quickly and the bug lasts around 24 to 48 hours. In some cases it can last longer. The virus causing this illness is oftentimes the norovirus, the same one that quickly spreads through cruise ships. It is quickly spread through schools, work places and anywhere we tend to gather. Since this is a virus, antibiotics won't help so treatment consists of rest and plenty of liquids. But you also have to be careful not to gulp the liquids down too quickly, since this could cause more problems with nausea. Instead, small sips are the key. If you can't keep liquids down then you will need to go to an Urgent Care or the ER for further treatment, but in most cases this is usually well taken care of at home.

One important note for both of the viruses circulating right now: If you are sick, it's best to stay home and rest. Otherwise you risk getting your coworkers or classmates sick too.


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