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The Flu is not the only Virus that's Catchy in Onondaga County

File photo / WAER News

The rise in flu cases in Onondaga County isn’t the only thing you can catch during this winter season, other viruses are also active.  Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Dr. Jennifer Nead says there are many strains and types of viruses this time of year.  The road to recovery can take awhile.

“So really, the treatment is time… letting the virus run its course which can be anywhere form several days but, typically 1 to 2 weeks.  The other mainstay of treatment is supportive care, so making sure the patient gets plenty of rest and hydration.”

Diagnosis is a clinical matter which the doctor suggests going to your pediatrician or family practice to find out what a child or adult has.  However, don’t be surprised if antibiotics are not prescribed.  That’s because Doctor Nead says viruses are not bacterial in nature, so antibiotics are not going to be effective or shorten the length of how long patients are sick.  In some cases, infants and children need to be hospitalized.

Credit Courtesy of SUNY Upstate
Upstate Golisano Children's Hospitalist, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Jennifer Nead.

“Not being able to stay hydrated at home.  Other reasons would be moderate to severe respiratory distress or the need for oxygen or additional support that they can’t get at home.”

The doctor says to also be mindful about how viruses can be picked up.

“Just by touching surfaces or objects that are contaminated with viruses and then touching your eyes, your mouth or your nose.  The virus can get into your body through these routes.  Another way you can get viruses is through inhalation.  So, if someone’s coughing or sneezing; you can breathe in the viral particles that are in the air.”

Doctor Nead says there is an increased prevalence of viruses associated with respiratory illnesses and the stomach bug during the fall and winter months.  She reminds anyone who hasn’t already received their flu shot to do so.  For more information she suggests checking the American Academy of Pediatrics or CDC websites.  

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.