What's Going Around: upper respiratory infections

What's Going Around: upper respiratory infections
Upper respiratory infections, or the common cold, is what's going around this week, according to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital infection preventionist, Bridget Redlich.

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A common viral infection that affects the nose, throat, and airways is What's Going Around this week.

Lake Charles Memorial Hospital infection preventionist, Bridget Redlich, says upper respiratory infections, or common colds, are making many people feel under the weather.

Upper respiratory infections are one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor and miss work or school.  Redlich says the sicknesses under the umbrella of the common cold are increasing.

"Definitely the more head, nose, throat, earache type of symptoms that are presenting, not so much the lower respiratory flu-type illnesses," said Redlich.

That includes rhinovirus, enterovirus, coronavirus, and adenovirus, all upper respiratory infections that Redlich says spread easily through droplets.

"Close quarters, direct contact with someone with a cough, runny nose, who might not be doing very good handwashing," she said.

That is why handwashing and sanitizing common surfaces is a must to stay well.

Redlich says some of these infections can last a few days or a couple of weeks.

"Certain ones have more severity and last a little bit longer. Others have a quicker turnaround," said Redlich.  "A regular common cold, kids can have those up to six to eight times a year, where adults maybe two to four."

Good news this week: while flu is still widespread in Louisiana, the numbers are steadily going down.

Louisiana's flu activity is still registering as "high," but has dropped down one level this week from the highest measurable activity.

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