Scott Woods MD, family practice physician at the Bethesda Family Practice Center and a faculty member at the Bethesda Family Medicine Residency, discusses common viral illnesses going around this fall and how to relieve symptoms.
“I haven’t seen a lot of fever, but just lots of congestion, sore throat and feeling kind of bad – not quite as extensive as the flu,” Dr. Woods tells Local 12’s Liz Bonis.
Common fall illnesses – known collectively by many as “the crud” – typically take a couple weeks to get over, and symptoms often mimic allergies.
How to Relieve Symptoms
While you need to let viruses run their course, Dr. Woods has a few recommendations for alleviating symptoms:
- Staying hydrated
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Taking over-the-counter medications
“It certainly may be decongestants or antihistamines if it’s more of a bronchitis developing, which we’ve seen quite a bit,” he explains. “Sometimes you’ll use oral steroids to reduce the inflammation.”
Precautions for Pregnant Women
Since “the crud” feels like the flu, Dr. Woods also suggests that pregnant women, or those with compromised immunity, go and get the flu vaccination early.
Emily Dixon DO of TriHealth Physician Partner Ohio Valley Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, and a faculty member with the Sports Medicine Fellowship at Bethesda Family Practice, is expecting a baby any day now so she is getting the shot this week.
“The first 30 days of life are so important to protect them from outside illnesses, because if the baby gets an infection or a fever during that first 30 days of life, they really don’t have their own immune system to fight it off,” Dr. Dixon points out.
Learn more about common fall illnesses in the TriHealth.com Health Library: