[member-grid items=” Ted Humphry” perrow=”4″ linkprofiles=”1″ /]Many kinds of virus may cause the symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection. A viral cold, also known as the Humboldt Crud or respiratory flu, is a frequent occurrence on our Northcoast area, especially during the wetter months. If symptoms including a fever, cough, headache or earache are especially severe, an office visit or phone call is a good idea to make sure there is not something else going on. If symptoms are mild you can manage without necessarily visiting the doctor.
Treatment consists mainly of rest and waiting for symptoms to improve. There are a few other things you can do, however, that might help:

  1. Offer plenty of fluids.
  2. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen in appropriate doses will help the fever if it is over 101.5 degrees or if there are general muscle aches. See Fever, Aches and Pains.
  3. No other medication is usually necessary, but sometimes parents use over-the-counter decongestants in the suggested dose to make an older child feel better. Likewise with cough syrup for a cough. Babies and young toddlers should receive no over-the-counter medication other than a fever reducer and possibly saline nasal spray.
  4. A bulb syringe can be used to clear the nose of babies. If suggested by one of us, nose drops such as Afrin or NeoSynephrine for babies may be helpful three times a day prior to feeding the infant.
  5. Special diets are not necessary, but well-balanced meals possibly with extra vitamins, may be helpful.
  6. Regular rest is important. Don’t let the child get overly tired.

“A cold treated with antibiotics will likely be better in seven days. Untreated it will take a week.” That’s because antibiotics are used to fight bacterial infections and most colds are caused by a virus.Other, more serious illnesses may begin with cold symptoms. If a daily fever lasts longer than 1 week, or symptoms seem severe, please give us a call.