Treating the common cold or flu amid medicine shortages

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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Treating the common cold or flu amid medicine shortages
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A rise in flu and other respiratory illnesses is leading to a short supply of over-the-counter cold and flu medicine.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A rise in flu and other respiratory illnesses is leading to a short supply of over-the-counter cold and flu medicine.

People are also seeking out vitamins and other alternative medicine options.

But health experts say it does not always guarantee symptom relief.

"People always ask about the over the counter cough and cold and most evidence for it is not very good, truthfully. It works for some people, doesn't really work for kids and in adults it's kind of hit and miss," said Dr. Kenny Banh from UCSF Fresno.

He says the best thing you can do is take preventative measures like staying home if you're feeling sick, washing your hands, and avoiding large crowds.

"We have influenza vaccines as well as the new bivalent COVID vaccines available so getting yourself protected is also a good idea," said Banh.

He stresses the importance of getting tested for COVID if you're feeling sick and seeking treatment for the virus.

The key to recovering from a minor cold or a mild case of the flu, though, is getting lots of rest.

"The thing that helps most is antipyretics like acetaminophen or Tylenol and the non-steroidal, most commonly ibuprofen or Motrin," said Banh.