Every cold and flu season,
I see a lot of patients seeking medical treatment
to get relief from the miserable symptoms of colds and flu.
Unfortunately, with the common cold or flu,
there isn't much we as doctors can do other than advise our patients
to stay home, drink lots of fluids and
rest while the illness takes its course.
I'm Dr. William Walker, Director of Contra Costa Health Services, and I'm here to talk to you about preventing the spread of colds and flu and
also to give you some home care tips.
The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine.
To help prevent colds and flu,
wash your hands frequently, especially after sneezing or coughing and
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren't available.
Also remember to exercise, get enough sleep, eat healthy foods and
And if you're an employer or a teacher, encourage your employees and
students to stay home when they're sick.
If you do get sick, flu and colds can make you feel miserable.
Here are some of the home care tips I recommend:
Drink lots of fluids. Fluids, rest and time are the “cure” for a cold or
flu, not antibiotics.
To sooth sore throats and coughs, use non-menthol cough drops
(menthol dries out the throat) and
gargle with salt water.
-Over-the-counter or prescription cough suppressants can help sleeping.
To help ease congestion, breathe moist air from a hot shower,
humidifier or vaporizor to moisten and soothe the airways.
-Nasal saline drops, vapor rub or decongestants also may help.
To reduce fever and pain, use over-the-counter pain relievers such as
acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen, but avoid
aspirin-containing products for anyone under 20 years old.
Remember: always check with your child's health care provider before
giving your child any medications, including
over the counter medications.
And seek medical attention if symptoms seem severe or
don't start getting better in a week or so.
For more information on colds and flu, visit our website cchealth.org
Thanks for listening.