Health Care

5 Winter Illnesses That Aren’t COVID-19

A woman sneezes as she sits sick in her bed

Coughs and sniffles can feel as much a part of winter as the chill in the air. Here’s a look at which wintertime illnesses you might encounter this season — and how to get care.

Through the winter months, if you or a family member get sick and need answers, we’ll be here with rapid flu and COVID-19 testing.

5 Wintertime Respiratory Illnesses

Many common winter illnesses share symptoms. Plus, many of those symptoms also overlap with COVID-19 symptoms, which can make it a bit difficult to figure out what’s ailing you. In most cases, testing is the only way to know for sure. But here’s some good information to know about common winter respiratory illnesses:

  • Bronchitis often starts with a dry cough that turns more severe, bringing fatigue, chest tightness and a mild fever. It usually clears up in about a week on its own.
  • Influenza (flu) virus comes on strong and affects your whole body, often with a high fever, body aches and fatigue that lasts a week or two. Taking an antiviral treatment in the first 48 hours can shorten how long your symptoms last.
  • Pharyngitis is the medical name for a sore throat. Sore throats are often the result of upper respiratory infections. A doctor can swab your throat to diagnose its cause and determine if an antibiotic could give you some relief
  • Sinusitis is a kind of stuffy nose that develops after you’ve had a cold and it can last for weeks or even months. If your stuffy nose won’t clear up, your doctor can check if it’s a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics.
  • Upper respiratory infections are also referred to as common colds, and they’re caused by a virus that you get in your chest and head.

Getting the Right Treatment

Extra rest and fluids will be enough to put you on the road to recovery for most common winter illnesses. But making a quick visit to the doctor when needed may help shorten your recovery time and ease your symptoms.

When you aren’t feeling well, you can head to your nearest Centra Care location to be seen or reserve your spot online ahead of time.

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