From your health and wellness experts at Prisma Health
February 01, 2018

How to fight back when a virus attacks

Serena Smith, MD
Carolina Family Medicine of Sumter
Winter is a tough season for cold, flu and all types of other viruses. Serena Smith, MD, with Carolina Family Medicine of Sumter, offers some advice on how to treat your symptoms while your body rids itself of the illness.

“We always want to feel better faster when we're sick,” Smith said. “A cold, sore throat, earache, bronchitis, cough, sinus infection are usually viral and take time, usually seven to 10 days, to recover from.”

Dr. Smith suggests that if you are sick to stay well hydrated and get plenty of rest.

“There is no magic bullet and no pill to make the sickness go away,” she said, “but there are steps you can take to reduce your symptoms.”

She suggests the following:
  • For pain and fever - Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and/or anti-inflammatories (Motrin, Aleve, Advil, Ibuprofen);
  • For cough - honey or hard candy/cough drops;
  • For congestion - Guaifenesin (Mucinex) and nasal irrigations for sinuses; and
  • For a sore throat - gargle one teaspoon of salt mixed in one cup of water.

Find a doctor

Palmetto Health offers several same-day care options for minor illnesses such as the flu.

Learn more