Each week, Centra Care doctors compile thousands of numbers from patient data in Orange, Lake, Seminole and Osceola counties to determine "What's Going Around" in Central Florida. We believe this information is important enough to share with you, because if you know "What's Going Around" in your area of town you can help to prevent yourself, your co-workers and family from getting sick. Many times we are also able to provide home care suggestions which may help the person feel better more quickly.
A virus is a microorganism, smaller than bacteria, which causes infections and is easily spread from person to person. There are hundreds of types of respiratory viruses that can cause things like colds, flu, sinusitis, bronchitis and more.
When a virus is the cause of an illness, doctors refer to it as Viral Syndrome. In addition to flu, Centra Care doctors are treating an increased number of patients with other types of viral illnesses. Viral Syndrome is What’s Going Around this week in Central Florida.
Across all 18 Centra Care centers there were nearly 600 cases of flu and over 1,700 patients with other viral illnesses. The highest occurrences were at the following Centra Care clinics: Hunter’s Creek, Winter Park, Lee Road and Sanford.
Viral respiratory infections typically cause congestion, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, cough, and fevers. These symptoms are similar to the flu, but typically not as severe. Since it may be difficult to tell the difference between an infection with the H1N1 (swine flu) virus and other respiratory viruses, you may need to consult with your doctor, especially if you have other conditions that put you at risk of complications from the flu (pregnancy, diabetes, heart disease, or asthma).
Illnesses that are viral in nature are NOT treated with antibiotics. According to the Centers for Disease Control, "taking antibiotics when you have a virus may do more harm than good. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment." There are several other medications that a doctor may recommend to help ease the symptoms of a viral illness.
Depending on what viral infection you may have, there are things you can do at home to help relieve symptoms. These are a few examples:
- Take over the counter pain reliever for fever and body aches
- Get plenty of sleep
- Drink lots of fluids: water, clear fruit juices, ginger ale, and sports drinks
- Warm baths or showers may help relieve body aches or sinus pressure
You should see a doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- A high temperature that does not respond to over the counter medication
- Trouble breathing
- Vomiting for 24-hours with an inability to keep liquids down
- Fainting spells
- Blurred vision
- A severe headache accompanied by a stiff neck
- Symptoms that last longer than 10 days or worsen after the first 7 days
For locations and directions visit: www.CentraCare.org. We’ll update you again next week.
Florida Hospital Centra Care
To learn more about "What's Going Around" in our community you can listen to the Centra Care Senior Medical Director each Tuesday morning between 8am and 8:30am on 88.3FM radio - Z88.3