Avoiding winter illness

 

(KTSF by Susannah Lee)

If you are feeling sick this winter, there are multiple steps you can take to recover and avoid a relapse.

Dr. Charles Chiu, an Infectious Disease Specialist who heads the UCSF Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center, says that the age-old tradition of eating chicken noodle soup when sick is a good one. He notes, “All of the studies so far have suggested that, chicken noodle soup improves symptoms, though probably not by directly addressing the cause of the infection.” He notes that one study found that chicken noodle soup relieves nasal congestion more than plain water.

If struck with a fever, Dr. Chiu recommends wiping off the body with room-temperature sponges, not ice packs. He says, “Using ice packs causes the person to shiver and by shivering, the person acutally raises his/her body temperature. It might actually make the fever worse.”

Dr. Chiu also stresses the importance of drinking enough fluids when one is sick.

(AP File)

Notably, if symptoms persist, or more serious conditions, such as dizziness, shortness of breath, or nausea occur, then patients should be sent to an emergency room for urgent medical attention.

To avoid sickness, Dr. Chiu recommends using good hygiene techniques. For example, wash hands with soap for at least 15 seconds to prevent infectious diseases. Further, he notes that alcohol disinfection gel can also be used as an alternative.

Finally, Dr. Chiu pointed out that a universal flu vaccine and new treatment drugs are currently under clinical trials.
(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

 

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