Living Well: The Chicago Bug | NBC Chicago

Living Well: The Chicago Bug

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    The Chicago Bug

         That's what I'm calling the respiratory illness that's sweeping out area. My office is flooded with patients  suffering from this persistent bug and everywhere I go people have it and are asking me what to do about it. There are variations in the symptoms but basically it goes like this.First there's a very sore throat. This subsides in two to three days and head congestion often with ear pain follows. From the beginning there is fatigue with body aches and most have some headache. After a few days a severe cough develops. It can be so bad at night that the sufferer has to sit up to breathe. The severe cough usually goes away in less than a week and may be followed by a dry intermittent cough may hang on for a few weeks.

    Sound familiar? In my patients the cause has been viral although I have seen quite a number strep throats in adults this year.

    What's the treatment?

    Ease the pain - Tylenol, Advil , etc.
    Hydrate
    Decongest
    Spray the Nose
    Rest
    When should you see a doctor?
    Fever above 101 F
    Colored phlegm
    Severe persistent sinus pain
    Shortness of breath
    Persistent wheezing
    Ear ache
    Is this contagious.
    Definitely! It's catching from the day before the symptoms start to at least two days after the main symptoms are gone.