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Acute symptoms during summer cold season

August 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
When it's sunny and 100 degrees outside, it doesn't seem right to have a cold. But right about now summer viruses are hitting their peak. Summer is the season for lingering illnesses.

A sore throat in the summer is the worst.

Internal medicine specialist Dr. Thirumala Raju says viruses can enter the body more easily when it's hot.

"Because of the blood vessels dilating because of heat ... as a result, some of the viruses can enter your system," said Raju.

And many people mistake summer viral infections for allergies.

"If you have nasal congestion with slight fatigue or headache, it is not an allergy. It's a cold," said Raju.

A summer cold can hit any time between June and October. They only occur about 25 percent as often as the winter variety. But they can be more severe and make you feel more tired.

"The fatigue is extremely intense during the summer months," said Raju.

And don't beg your doctor for antibiotics. Dr. Raju says a viral infection can only be treated with rest and fluids, but ibuprofen and nasal rinsing can help.

"It makes your symptoms feel a little better because most of the congestion ... when you push saline, it kind of decreases the swelling, and so you feel the headache and the pressure slightly relieve," said Raju.

She also recommends deep breathing, meditation and yoga to prevent a cold from lingering.

"It increases air flow, blows your viruses out which have come in," said Raju.


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