News & Events

SIHF Healthcare Offers Tips to Avoid the Common Cold This Winter

December 6, 2017

SIHF Healthcare is offering tips to help reduce outbreaks of the common cold this winter. With millions of cases reported in the United States each year, the trained medical professionals at SIHF Healthcare will help anyone beat and hopefully prevent the common cold this season. 

“There are several ways to reduce the risk of getting a cold,” said Brittany Murry, FNP-BC, with SIHF Healthcare - Convenient Care Center. “Viruses spread through close contact with others, so staying away from people who are sick is key. At periodic times throughout the day, wash your hands with soap and water.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing for at least 20 seconds, and avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands. 

The common cold is aptly named due to it being widespread and easily transmittable. Those who have come down with a cold should reduce their risk of spreading it to others by staying home while they are sick, and avoiding close contact with others. It is common courtesy to practice good cough/sneeze etiquette by moving away from others before coughing or sneezing, always using a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve to cover your nose and mouth, and remembering to thoroughly wash your hands immediately afterwards. It is beneficial to disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, such as doorknobs, keyboard, and phones. 

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent the common cold, nor is there a cure. The easiest and most effective way to feel better is to get plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids. Over-the-counter medicine can help with cold symptoms, but ultimately will not aid in making the cold go away faster. Antibiotics should not be taken, as they are ineffective against viruses, and may in fact make it harder for the body to fight bacterial infections in the future. 

A common cold usually is no reason for alarm. However, if you or your child has a temperature higher than 100.4° Fahrenheit, symptoms that last more than 10 days, or symptoms that are unusually severe, you should call your SIHF Healthcare family doctor as soon as possible. A doctor should be called immediately if a child younger than three months old has a fever. From there, doctors can determine whether the fever is due to a cold, or if it is something more serious. If it is a cold, they can recommend solutions to help with symptoms.

The Internal Medicine Specialists at SIHF want to ensure you are feeling your happiest and healthiest this winter. If you are feeling out of sorts, and suspect a common cold is the source, call your local SIHF Healthcare center today to set up an appointment. With more than 30 centers in 11 counties throughout Southern Illinois, it’s easy to find a location near you. To view centers in your community, visit http://www.sihf.org/health-centers

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About SIHF Healthcare
SIHF Healthcare operates a network of more than 30 health centers across 11 Illinois counties with more than 160 medical providers who deliver comprehensive health care services including: adult, family, women’s health, pediatrics, dental services, behavioral health, and population health services. As one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Center networks in the country, SIHF Healthcare is devoted to leading individuals and communities to their healthiest lifestyle regardless of their ability to pay. For more information, visit www.sihf.org.