GUERNSEY-It begins with a sneeze, a sore throat and possibly a headache. In the next day or so, the chills invade as your body temperature rises with fever and your muscles begin to ache. By the third day, thereís no going back-the cough and congestion have settled in. Youíve managed to catch some kind of virus and you know the next 10 days to two weeks likely wonít be much fun.
Most everyone can identify with the previous scenario because so many viral and even bacterial illnesses begin in this manner. Most will run their course, regardless of what steps you take, particularly if it is caused by a virus. A visit to the doctor may provide some relief through prescription medication, but for the most part, youíll be best off getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids and downing some over-the-counter analgesics. Itís a common story.
But what you may not realize is that there are several more serious illnesses that can also present themselves this way and taking some time to educate yourself could make a big difference in the long-term outcome, particularly when it comes to infants and the elderly.
One such illness is pertussis, also known as whooping cough, due to the unique style of cough it involves.
The best way to prevent the spread of the illness is to get vaccinated, even if you were vaccinated as a child. Parents with infants should be especially careful about taking them into places where people are known to have colds and cough. Diligent hand washing can also help prevent the spread of not only pertussis but many other viruses and bacteria.
As with any contagious illness, prevention is the very best way to avoid contracting the illness.
For further information on pertussis, please visit the website: http://www.pertussis.com
For the complete article see the 02-26-2013 issue.
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