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Battling Cold and Flu

January 10, 2017
by Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

Welcome to the new year! This is the time of year when students return to school and come home with colds, flu and sore throats. Parents bring those germs from home to work and everyone is exposed.

You feel as though you are living/working in a petri dish that is alive with a plethora of germs.

The weather has been so cold, one would think all of the germs would be "frozen." But, no.

Here are my words of advice:?cover your mouth when you cough and wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.

The University of Iowa sent out a news release from UIeCare dealing with fevers in the heat of flu season:

Flu season is heating up, and chances are someone in your family will feel its feverish effects. While uncomfortable, a fever helps the body fight off infection, but there are ways to provide comfort and times when you should contact a doctor, according to a health care expert at UIeCare.

"Although fevers in adults can cause alarm, parents tend to get very concerned when a child has a fever," said Patrick D. Brophy, MD, MHCDS, professor of pediatrics at the University of Iowa and medical director for UIeCare. "It's important to keep in mind that a fever isn't usually dangerous and will typically go away on its own."

An elevated temperature is typically considered a fever when it reaches 100.4 degrees F, but kids may not feel uncomfortable until a fever reaches 102 or 103 degrees F. Parents can help raise a child's comfort level by providing plenty of liquids, dressing a child in light clothing, giving a lukewarm sponge bath, and providing fever-reducing medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as directed and needed.

"If a child is sleeping peacefully, most pediatricians do not recommend waking them just to administer fever medication," Brophy said. "Anxious parents may want to treat every fever, but the real focus should be making the child comfortable while also keeping an eye out for symptoms that warrant medical attention."

If your child has a fever, Dr. Brophy from UIeCare provides the following recommendations about when to contact a doctor.

- Your baby younger than 3 months has a fever.It isn't common for infants this age to have fevers, and it can be a sign of a serious illness. In this case, you should promptly have your baby physically evaluated in-person by a doctor.

- Your child's fever is higher than 104 degrees F. Get medical advice if your child has a fever of 104 degrees F that doesn't come down with the use of acetaminophen or ibuprofen within two hours.

- Your child isn't acting normal. If he or she isn't playing, eating or drinking normally or seems hard to rouse it could be cause for concern.

- Your child was recently immunized and has a temperature higher than 102 degrees F for more than 24 hours. A doctor should check to make sure the fever isn't a sign of an adverse side effect.

- Your child's fever lasts more than five days. Any underlying causes may need to be investigated.

UIeCare, backed by University of Iowa Health Care, is the only virtual care service dedicated to helping Iowans throughout the state access health care whenever and wherever they need it so they can receive care without leaving their homes. Iowans who are interested in learning more or would like to request online care can visit Para Espaol, visite An internet broadband speed of 1 Mbps upstream is recommended for videoconferencing.



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