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What's Going Around: Upper Respiratory Illnesses

Most upper respiratory infections are a virus and more often than not, it's just the common cold.

April 04, 2013|Reporter: Lauren Matter, Photographer: Tony Nguyen |,

Mt. Vernon, MO. - If you have a cough that won't go away, a sore throat or stuffy nose you probably have an upper respiratory infection or illness.

That's What's Going Around this week.

Most upper respiratory infections are a virus and more often than not, it’s just the common cold.

Some upper respiratory illnesses can be more serious such as laryngitis, tonsillitis, sinus infections, or bronchitis.

Symptoms include a cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache or low-grade fever.

Symptoms usually start a few days before the illness hits you head on.

Nurse Practitioner Cindy Hollis with Ozarks Community Hospital’s Mt. Vernon clinic says people are exposed to viruses every day.

But if you don’t have a built up immune system, you could find yourself sick more often than you’d like.

“If you're run down or fatigued, not sleeping well, not eating right, and not taking care of yourself then sometimes these folks seem to get more colds because their body and immune system weakened,” explains Hollis.


Depending on what illness you have, you could be sick for up to a week.

That's why it's important to go to the doctor if your illness lasts for longer than 10 days or doesn't seem to be getting better.

Remember to stay hydrated, get plenty of sleep and finish any antibiotics a doctor might prescribe to you.

If you don't finish them, the illness could come back.

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