COUGHS LAST LONGER THAN PEOPLE THINK THEY WILL
Coughs take a longer time to go away than we think they will, according to a new study, often leading people to seek unneeded medical care and receive unnecessary treatment. Researchers found that the average cough, usually from a cold or other respiratory illness, lasts nearly 18 days, while people expect it to go away after just six to nine days. The researchers noted that getting this information to patients could reduce unnecessary doctor visits and treatment, which is usually antibiotics, even though they don't work against the viruses that cause most of these illnesses. When should you see your doctor for a cough? Study researcher Dr. Mark Ebell of the University of Georgia Health Science Campus said reasons would include having chronic lung disease or another serious chronic illness, shortness of breath or significant wheezing, coughing up blood or rusty-colored sputum, or a sudden worsening of symptoms.
BUT IF YOU ARE SICK...SEE BELOW!
SEVEN HEALTHY WAYS TO PASS TIME WHEN YOU'RE HOME SICK
1) Watch a comedy. If you're feeling well enough to watch a movie, make it a comedy. Research shows that laughing may actually boost your immune system.
2) Take a steam. Turn your bathroom into a steam room by running a hot shower. If you're too lightheaded to stand, sit on a chair or the closed toilet and breathe in the steam, which moistens your nasal passages and throw, and can help you relax.
3) Stir up some homemade hot chocolate. Make the winter classic at home, and you can control what goes into the mix. You can keep sugar in check with unsweetened cocoa powder and cut back on fat by using skim milk - plus you can still reap the health benefits of chocolate, like a boost in heart health, a drop in blood pressure and lifted spirits. Plus it will help hydrate you, which is good no matter what you're fighting.
4) Enjoy homemade soup. Sipping soup, especially broth, is bound to feel good, while providing you with the nutrients you need to fight your infection. It's also and easy way to eat healthfully without feeling weighed down. Making your own hearty soup cuts back on salt and also give you the chance to load up with healthy winter veggies.
5) Play a board game. Exercise your brain! Depending on the objective, board games can test your powers of memory, logic, and problem solving.
6) Take a nap. Sleep, sleep, sleep. Try to support your sleep schedule by timing caffeine intake so that it doesn't interfere with your naps.
7) Enjoy your time alone. If you find yourself repeatedly wishing for more hours in the day, take some time to kick back and relax. Being out sick is the perfect excuse to stay away from your e-mail and phone. What's more, the CDC recommends you avoid contact with the people around you when you're contagious.
RECENT FLU STATS:
Flu Spreads to 47 States
The CDC rolled out a mix of good news/bad news on this year's flu outbreak:
The number of states reporting widespread activity rose from 41 to 47 over the week. The far West (Arizona, California, Nevada, Guam, and Hawaii) has largely escaped the brunt of it so far.
The number of states reporting high levels of the illness fell from 29 to 24, suggesting that it's on the wane in some areas. (Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Kentucky saw the decreases.)
So far, 20 victims under the age of 18 have died, reports CNN. More than 3,700 people, most of them elderly, have been hospitalized.
This year's vaccine appears to be about 62% effective, a decent mark.