Tag: Flu Season

Cold and Sinus Infections


2 November 2018

Cold and Sinus Infections invariably go hand-in-hand with winter. Snow isn’t bad for a month or so, and living in Michigan I do tolerate brief stretches of freezing temperatures. But for complete honesty, my favorite part of winter is that it always ends. Yet, for those days and months with freezing weather, everyone tends to huddle inside together and germs and viruses are increasingly spread. This can lead to the common cold or sinus infection.


Fortunately, the possible solutions for people with an infection have never been better. Now, before you rush to get antibiotics, consider some important points from this well-written piece:


  • Between 90-98 percent of sinusitis infections are viral and won’t respond to antibiotics.
  • At least 200 viruses can cause the common cold. None will respond to antibiotics.
  • Only 5-10 percent of sore throat cases in adults are caused by strep throat.


Remember that coughs ad other URI symptoms can take between 7-21 days to resolve. The average duration of a cough is 18 days. You may just have to be patient. But do NOT get discouraged! The goal during this time is symptomatic care.


What can you do for symptomatic care? Ahem, FREE ADVICE!


  1. Minimize exposure! I am not talking about locking yourself in your house until winter ends, but keep washing your hands or using hand sanitizer as frequently as possible.
  2. Contain that cough and/or sore throat. Studies show that honey that is either by itself or mixed with a liquid works just as well- or sometimes better- than leading (and drastically more expensive) anti-sore throat/cough medications. Honey can safely be used in any children > 1 yr old.
  3. Nasal Steroids. When symptoms are bad enough to need a daily medication, these medications do a great job on reducing overall inflammation in the nasal cavity.
  4. Dunk your head in the ocean! Ok, just kidding. We are in Michigan. But make your own saline rinses and use the suction bulb as I detailed I while back.
  5. Hydrate. Your body will interpret hydration as fatigue. With all that mucous you are producing, you need to replenish it.
  6. Antihistamines. These are what most people think of as ‘allergy medicine.” While they aren’t quite as effective as nasal steroids, they act more quickly and usually work well.

We have Flu Shots!


5 October 2018

At Beyond Primary Care, we have Flu shots in stock! A lot of our practice encompasses preventative medicine, i.e- being proactive about your health! We encourage adherence to the CDC immunization guidelines that are endorsed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. We understand the hesitancy that some patients have regarding vaccines and are happy to discuss these concerns together.


If you’re on the fence about a flu shot, here are five arguments to see if I can change your mind.


1) It’s still a common misperception: the idea that you can get the flu from the flu shot
This is, of course, in-correct. The influenza vaccine is made from an inactivated virus. If you got sick in the past around the same time, you likely had a viral cold and attributed those symptoms to this. The most common side effects are a sore arm, and perhaps a little swelling. A very small proportion of people, 1 to 2 percent, get a degree of fever. That’s not the flu, that’s the body reacting to the vaccine.


2) You are vulnerable
People 65 and older are at higher risk of flu-related complications, but the flu can knock young, healthy people off their feet, too. It does every year. Here is a downer about the flu, a 172 American children (under the age of 18) died from the flu last winter. The flu can, on occasion, take a young, healthy person and put them in the intensive care unit. Ask me the story of this.


3) Getting the Flu shot is your civic duty
Nobody wants to be the dreaded spreader, yet everybody gets the flu from somebody else. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who have caught the flu virus are contagious one day before they start to feel sick and for up to seven days after. Check out this great NPR video if you really need convinced.


4) You can still get the Flu, but you won’t be as sick 
The flu virus constantly evolves, forcing new vaccines to be brewed each your to match the strains. Per the CDC, people who get the flu shot have a 40-60% lower chance of getting seriously ill than the unvaccinated. Yes, you can still get the flu despite vaccination, but generally those cases will have milder illnesses than if they skip the vaccine.


5) Pregnant women who get the Flu shot protect their babies from the flu
Women who are pregnant should be vaccinated to protect themselves. Still, the vaccine also offers protection after babies are born as mother can pass the protection on, across the placenta. This will protect their baby during the first six months of life, until the baby is old enough to be vaccinated