Doctor: proper precautions best line of defense against area bug - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Doctor: proper precautions best line of defense against area bugs

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Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

A Huntsville doctor said an upper respiratory virus is sweeping across the Tennessee Valley. Patients started showing up to his office after the temperatures began to dip last week.

Dr. Tim Howard said it is all upper respiratory, so you're talking about a lot of coughing, some sneezing, and you feel generally ‘cruddy.'

The doctor said there are also some bacteria floating around. It's not anything out of the ordinary, but he said we are going to see more cases pop up because of the temperature drops and the winter season just around the corner.

He said you need to take proper precautions to avoid getting sick. Those means washing your hands, avoiding sick people, and if you are sick, try to cover your cough and not to sneeze in the direction of others.

"The things you want to work on, for instance with a cold, is Zinc. Zinc is helpful for preventing the severity of it. You do that, push fluids, and [take] Tylenol or those kinds of things," said Dr. Howard.

Dr. Howard also addressed the recent outbreaks of salmonella and Legionella pneumonia. At least one person died from the Legionella outbreak in the Shoals, and 13 went to the hospital after contracting salmonella earlier this month in Limestone County.

He said he believes it is pure coincidence that both of these events occurred days apart. But he said there are two likely reasons people are hearing about the outbreaks.

First, Dr. Howard said the general reporting, specifically in rural areas, is so much better than even a few years ago. He said that's why you hear of more outbreaks. Second, he said the 24/7 news cycle has heightened people's awareness of these bacterial outbreaks. Dr. Howard said that combination of awareness and better reporting is the equation for people to realize how often these types of things happen.

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