Influenza, colds, Strep Throat, RSV and COVID are some examples of some of the viruses/illness many Central Minnesotans are dealing with this winter.  Dr. David Smith from Sartell Pediatrics joined me on WJON to explain the differences between some of these ailments.

Dr. Smith explains influenza tends to hit someone immediately with symptoms that include fever, chills, headache and body aches.  If someone feels horrible almost immediately Smith says that's probably influenza.  He says it's not too late to get vaccinated for influenza especially if you have underlying respiratory conditions.  Dr. Smith says a benefit of going into to the doctor if you think you have the flu is the anti viral treatments that can make someone less contagious and fell better quicker.  He says if someone has been exposed to someone with the flu an anti-viral treatment could keep a person from getting the flu.

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Examples of a cold could be someone feeling not right with stuffy nose or congestion early in the day and by the end of the day are feeling sick.  Smith says cold can linger for approximately 2 weeks.

Strep throat has been on and off this winter so far according to Smith.  Symptoms of strep throat include sore throat, fever, and belly pain without a running nose.  Dr. Smith says strep is a bacterial infection that can be treated with anti bacterial medication.  He says strep is moderately contagious.  Dr. Smith says the good thing about strep is after treatment people normally feel better quickly.

COVID symptoms according to Smith can be all over the place.  They could include fever, chills, body aches, nasal pressure, and sore throat.  He suggests using the home testing kits for COVID if you suspect your illness is COVD.  COVID vaccines are available and Smith suggests getting one to keep someone from getting the virus and/or suffering severe symptoms.

RSV is a respiratory illness that tends to affect the really young and really old.  Dr. Smith says healthy adults can get RSV but the symptoms typically resemble a mild cold.

If you'd like to listen to my 4-part conversation with Dr. David Smith it is available below.






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