A cold may not mean a doctor visit

Published 12:37 am Sunday, November 16, 2008

It’s the last day of a long workweek, and you are excited about getting to go home for the weekend. But wait. This morning you woke up with a headache and suddenly your nose is starting to clog and it is hard to breath.

Yep, that’s right. Just before the weekend starts, you get a cold.

There is hope for having a fun weekend that isn’t full of sneezing and soup eating. After noticing the first symptoms of a cold, which include low grade fever, congestion, sneezing and runny nose, pick up an over-the-counter cold medicine such as Tylenol or Motrin for a fever and Tylenol Cold for anything else that you might have. It is best to take this step before seeing your doctor because there are no antibiotics available for any viruses, and a cold is a virus. Therefore, your doctor will likely be giving you one of these items in a prescription.

“There are no known antibiotics for a virus. For colds it is best to rest and take over the counter medication unless the cold persists for more than seven to 10 days or if the symptoms get worse,” Medical Director Dr. Wayne Barefield said.

The everyday cold is transferred through both airborne contamination as well as hand-to-hand contact.

The best thing a person can do to help prevent themselves from becoming sick is wash their hands often. It is not enough simply to run your hands under water, though, the experts say.

“It is important to remember to wash your hands for at least one minute with soap and water to make sure you keep the germs that you are ingesting down,” Barefield explained.