CALEDONIA, Mich. -- Coughs. Fevers. Runny noses. Cold and flu season has arrived.
There is no specific bug going around right now,, says Dr. Dan McGee, a pediatric hospitalist at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, but doctors are seeing a number of different respiratory viruses that have both parents and kids reaching for their favorite flavors of cough drops.
Dr. Dan McGee makes it clear that there is no quick fix for a cold and flu. You can use cold and flu pods for your Keurig, Emergen-C, or zinc lozenges, but they will just make you feel better and not actually be curing you of the diseases.
"I like chicken soup. That helps."
"Antibiotics don’t work against a cold because colds are caused by viruses," Dr. McGee said. Viruses don't respond to antibiotics. "The biggest tip I can give you is wash your hands.
Dr. McGee says everyone needs have a flu shot as soon as possible if they are 6 months or older, because the flu virus will start peaking in the next couple of months.
Here are some other quick tips from Dr. McGee:
- Forget the nasal flu vaccine this year, because it's simply not effective.
- Get a flu shot even if you've already had the flu, because there are multiple strains, and you can be vulnerable to any of them
- Children who get a flu shot for the very first time need two doses, not one.
As for those who claim the flu shot actually gives you the virus, Dr. McGee says that's simply not true.
"You can get some muscle soreness a little bit of aches and slight fever from the flu shot, but that’s not the flu. If you have the real flu, you feel like you got hit by a truck."
Dr. McGee suggests you get plenty of rest, drink a lot of fluids, and stay home from work or school so you're not spreading the illness among your co-workers and classmates.
Keep in mind, if you feel sick, it could be allergies. This is a bad time of year for people allergic to pollen and molds.