We begin in Jackson, where Dr. Margo Ferguson at Allegiance Family Medicine-Cascade Ridge says strep throat is going around.
Symptoms of strep include a sudden, sore, red, swollen throat without cold symptoms like coughing and sneezing. You may also have fever, swollen glands or tonsils, and whitish-yellow patches on the back of the throat.
Other symptoms include headache, difficulty swallowing, bad breath and fatigue.
Strep responds well to antibiotics, so see your doctor if you think you have it. Also drink fluids, gargle with salt water and suck on candy, popsicles, or lozenges. You can take ibuprofen to relieve pain and reduce fever.
In Lansing, Dan Moore, certified physician assistant at Ingham Internal Medicine and Pediatric Associates, a partner of Ingham Regional, is treating the common cold.
Colds usually begin with a sore throat, followed by head congestion, sneezing, stuffy nose, nasal drainage and cough. In children, colds may also cause a low-grade fever, reduced appetite, irritability and sleep disruption.
You can't cure a cold but you can treat the symptoms.
Gargle with warm salt water to ease a sore throat.
Get plenty of rest, drink fluids, and run a humidifier in your room. Also, sleep with your head elevated.
You should watch for signs of a secondary bacterial infection, like ear ache, sinus pain and fever above 102 degrees.