How to handle cold and flu season

Augusta, GA—(WJBF) It is that time of year again. When your throat starts to get scratchy and your nose starts to run, you know it is the season when the common cold gets passed around.

We talked to Dr. James Wilde at the Medical College of Georgia. He is a professor of Emergency Medicine with a specialty in Pediatrics. He explains that the cold and flu season starts in the fall and gets worse as we move into the winter months. The main reason Dr. Wilde says is because your kids are getting the bug at school and bringing it home to the rest of the family.

Dr. Wilde says there is not a whole lot you can do to prevent getting sick since the bugs are coming at you from a variety of directions. The best thing you can do to avoid feeling under the weather is to keep your hands clean.

“Washing hands when you have people in the house who are sick, will help to keep it from spreading to you,” says Dr. Wilde.

When you do start feeling symptoms, Dr. Wilde says, make sure you get lots of fluid and rest. There are some over-the-counter medicines that will help alleviate your symptoms. Dr. Wilde says, usually the ones that contain an antihistamine and/or a decongestant. However, Dr. Wilde wants you to realize that antibiotics are not going to help with the common cold or the flu.

“Those combination medicines will help with patients in ages over age 6, under age 6—they are of no value, under age 2—they are dangerous.”

Dr. Wilde points out that the change in the weather from warm to cold is simply a time-marker for your sickness and not the cause. He explains that when it gets cold, people spend more time indoors and closer to others so the germs can spread easier.

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