Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Summer Colds

Often, we think that we are invincible when it comes to getting sick during summer months. We compartmentalize colds in our minds and only think they come about during winter; however, this is not the case. Not all viruses that cause colds are the same. In fact, all viruses have a different seasonality. Rhinovirus thrives during the winter months, causing our incessant sneezing and coughing. During the summer enterovirus is extremely common. The symptoms present themselves a bit differently than a winter cold, and include the following:
  • coughing
  • congestion
  • fever
  • diarrhea
  • sore throat
  • rashes
  • body aches
  • longer-lasting (1-2 weeks)
  • Obviously, summer colds are a nightmare. How do we get rid of them?
  • get plenty of rest
  • hydrate
  • use over-the-counter medications (pain relievers, cough drops, nasal sprays, and cough syrups)
Unfortunately, you just have to wait a summer cold out. Since the root of the issue comes from a virus, antibiotics are ineffective. In addition, the cranked-up air conditioning might make you more susceptible to catching a cold because it constricts the blood vessels in the nose and throat. There is also no scientific evidence that supports "sweating out" a cold through exercise or loading up on vitamin C when you are ill.
Even though summer is the best time to enjoy the outdoors, it is important to stay inside when you are ill. In addition, make sure you are washing your hands often. That way, you do not spread your summer cold to others.
EIU Health Service & Pharmacy

If you happen to catch a summer cold, EIU has plenty of resources available to help you get through it. To make an appointment or to ask additional questions, contact the Health Service at (217) 581-3013, health@eiu.edu, or visit the first floor of the Human Services Building. Students can set up an appointment by visiting the MyHealth Portal through PAWS. The clinic's summer office hours are 8:00am-4:30pm Monday-Thursday and 8:00am-12:00pm on Friday.

Located conveniently in the south quad, EIU Pharmacy stocks a large selection of over-the-counter medications, as well as other personal items, so individuals don’t have to leave campus! Over-the-counter medications include, but are not limited to: pain, fever, cough, cold, allergy, sore throat, heartburn, nausea and topical. The Pharmacy is open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM during the academic year. Summer hours are Monday through Thursday 8 AM to noon and 1 PM to 4:30 PM. Friday hours are 8 AM to noon.
EIU Health Education Resource Center (HERC)
The Health Education Resource Center (HERC) is also here to help. The HERC can be found in the Booth House on 4th Street (across from Pemberton). You can also call (217) 581-7786 or email herc@eiu.edu. During the summer, the HERC is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday 8 a.m. to noon.

To read the article that inspired this blog go to http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2015/07/22/surviving-a-summer-cold.

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