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Two Viruses Making People Sick

November 30, 2010, 6:10 PM by Kelli Grant

Two Viruses Making People Sick
SIOUX FALLS, SD - It's that time of year.  Time for coughs, sneezes, runny noses and lately, sour stomachs.

If you or your child has felt a little sick to your stomach these days or maybe you have a cough or are stuffed up, it's probably for good reason. There are a few viruses going around.

It's not seasonal influenza or H1N1 that's making the rounds this winter, rather adenovirus and parainfluenza.

Both can make you very sick.

Adenovirus attacks the respiratory tract, the eyes and the intestine.  It's a frequent cause of diarrhea. So what you thought might have been the stomach flu was something entirely different.

Parainfluenza shares symptoms with another illness as well.

“Runny nose, stuffy nose, you can have fever but you can also have this croupy cough that basically sounds like a seal,” Sanford Pediatric Infectious Disease physician Dr. Maria Carrillo said.

Carrillo says both viruses are typical this time of year and are just that - a virus. That means you'll have to let them run their course.

But look for symptoms that may suggest something more serious like pneumonia. If your child isn't eating or sleeping or just not themselves, it's time to call the doctor.

But Carrillo says if your child has a fever, you don't necessarily need to make an appointment.

“The fever itself is a symptom, basically an alarm or an alert of the body saying, 'Hey, something's going on,'” Carrillo said.

If your newborn has a fever higher than 100.4 degrees, call the doctor right away.  And for older children, anything higher than 101 should be cause for concern.

Carrillo says when it comes to these common illnesses, it's important to use good hygiene.

Since cases of seasonal influenza are showing up across the country, it's important to roll up your sleeve.

“By protecting yourself and we're not talking about only protecting our children, all of the family needs to be protected. Because in that way, we can protect the rest of the community, we can protect the people who cannot be vaccinated,” Carrillo said.

Creating what's called herd immunity, which will keep your family healthy.

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