A viral respiratory illness is an infection of the lungs and airways (breathing passages) that is caused by viruses. The most common viral respiratory illnesses include colds, the flu and pneumonia. Common symptoms of a viral respiratory illness include coughing, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, fever, difficulty breathing, headache, sore muscles, and severe fatigue.
Because they are caused by viruses and not bacteria, viral respiratory infections do not respond to antibiotics. Most viral respiratory infections are self-limiting, meaning they resolve on their own after several days. If you have a viral respiratory illness, your doctor may prescribe medicines to relieve symptoms and help you feel better until the infection runs its course. Here are tips that can help you while riding out a viral respiratory illness:
Stay at home and rest. This will help your body fight off the infection and reduce the risk of infecting others.
Drink plenty of fluids. Load up on water, juice, clear broth or warm calamansi juice. Avoid coffee and alcohol, which can dehydrate you.
Eat chicken soup. Chicken soup and other warm fluids can be soothing and loosen congestion in your nose and airways.
Soothe sore throat with a saltwater gargle. Dissolve one-quarter to a half teaspoon of salt in a 4- to 8-ounce glass of warm water.
Use saline nasal drops to help relieve nasal congestion. Saline nasal drops are available in retail drugstores and pharmacies without a prescription.
Take over-the-counter cold and cough medications. Over-the-counter decongestants, antihistamines and pain relievers help relieve symptoms in adults and children older than 5.
If symptoms persist or worsen, consult your doctor immediately. Shop at Watsons for prescription and OTC medications for viral respiratory infections, and other essential healthcare products.
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