Doctor Warns of Seasonal Ailments

Omaha(KPTM)-Feeling under the weather? You're not alone. Below freezing temperatures are uncomfortable and braving the conditions while you're not feeling well can be downright miserable. So, does the cold make you sick?

Dr. G. Daniel Brooks of The Asthma and Allergy Center in Bellevue says he thinks the illnesses he's seeing lately have more to do with the calendar than the elements. "We're heading into the season where you expect to see more respiratory viruses, the types of viruses that make you sick faster and more sick and also that last longer," said Brooks.

Brooks says he's currently seeing a lot of patients with respiratory illnesses that can last up to three weeks. He adds that flu season usually peaks in February, so he encourages people to get a flu shot as soon as possible.

But if it's too late and you already have the flu, there are options available. "What a lot of people don't know is that there are treatments out there so if you are getting very sick very quickly with a bad cold and a fever, you may benefit from being on an anti-influenza medication," said Brooks, who adds that if you want that prescription, you need to act within the first few days of getting sick, for it to work effectively.

Although modern medicine means more options, Brooks says prevention is the best strategy. "Be really cautious around someone who is sick, be cautious about coughing, these respiratory viruses are generally being spread by either being coughed on or sneezing, also by shaking hands," said Brooks.

To stay healthy during a season when many get sick, Brooks recommends frequent hand washing or use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, getting that flu shot, eating healthily and getting plenty of rest.