Recognize the signs of sickness

sickness

Photo courtesy of www.cdc.gov

Carrera Powell, Health Editor

It is cold and flu season, but as many are finding out, it’s also that time of the year to contract pneumonia, bronchitis and strep throat.

When students spend more time indoors, illnesses become easier to spread – but there are many ways to prevent the outbreak.

The common cold is a virus that the body can usually sort out itself in due time.

Symptoms of the sickness generally tend to include coughing, sneezing, a runny nose and sinus congestion.

The common cold can be typically be treated by using over the counter remedies.

The flu, however, is slightly more intense. Consisting of muscle pains, fatigue, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes, the virus is unable to be treated by antibiotics.

Many people who suffer from the flu can turn to over the counter products for treatment.

Strep throat is common in late fall and winter. The strain, medically known as streptococcus bacteria, includes symptoms such as a sore throat that leads to white cultures growing, swollen tonsils and tonsil deposits. Unlike the cold and flu viruses, strep will not go away on its own, meaning it will have to be treated by antibiotics.

Pneumonia and bronchitis are slightly less common, but still pose a real threat as the weather gets colder and disease spreads.

Pneumonia is a bacterial infection where the air sacs in the lungs fill with fluid, causing difficulty in breathing, chest pain and coughing. It can often be difficult to distinguish from bronchitis, as both share the same symptoms.

Bronchitis usually builds up in the bronchial tubes, beginning as a dry cough with mucus developing within a few days. Bronchitis does not generally cause a fever.

Much like a cold or the flu, bronchitis is generally treated with over-the-counter remedies as opposed to prescription antibiotics.

Those experiencing persistent symptoms, should visit the Health and Counseling Services office in the basement of Mother Theresa, or a physician appointment should be scheduled.

Cerrera Powell
Rae Powell is a junior english major with a minor in film studies. This is her first year as Flyer health editor. She dyed her hair purple to raise awareness for Lupus.

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