Living Well: The Chicago Bug

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.
Spray the Nose
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.
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