Health Chats
Is It the Common Cold Or Something More Serious?
Tuesday Mar 17, 2009, 03:00PM - 04:00PM (EST)
Enoch Choi, MDBlank
Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Urgent Care, Palo Alto, CA
Can you tell the difference between the common cold and the flu? How about bacterial infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia? According to the CDC, flu activity is just starting to pick up in the U.S. and could continue into April or May. <br><br> As an Urgent Care physician at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Dr. Enoch Choi sees quite a few cases of these viral and bacterial illnesses and he will be available to answer your questions live at March 17, 2009 3:00PM EST. Join Dr. Choi to learn about the flu vaccine, antivirals, antibiotics, and alternative preventative measures such as humidifiers, saline drops and sprays, herbal supplements, and honey and find out whether these treatments are suitable for children, the elderly and other high-risk groups.
hapapapa:
...can we stop the slow ones?
Enoch Choi, MD:
yes, some pandemic flu may be sensitive to antivirals we have
Enoch Choi, MD:
but possibly not, just as you've seen that the flu this year was completely resistant to tamiflu
kittyluv1:
At what age do you recommend yearly flu shots? Are they safe for children?
Enoch Choi, MD:
YES!  get them every year, safe for children at any age
mamaof2boys0608:
How do you tell if you have a URI?
Enoch Choi, MD:
an Upper Respiratory Infection is a common cold, with runny nose, cough, feeling gross
Cindy:
How can you tell the difference between a cold and the flu?
Enoch Choi, MD:
Colds are the common symptoms of runny nose, cough, feeling gross
Enoch Choi, MD:
Influenza is much worse
Enoch Choi, MD:
i had it 2 years ago
Enoch Choi, MD:
i caught it in singapore in the summer, darnint
Enoch Choi, MD:
darnit
Enoch Choi, MD:
Influenza makes you wish you were dead
Enoch Choi, MD:
frmo the muscle aches, fever, and other URI symptoms
Enoch Choi, MD:
i was shivering and shaking for a few days
Enoch Choi, MD:
tamiflu kicked in and stoped the spread of it
Enoch Choi, MD:
and yes, i got the flu shot the previous year, but it was the new strain that we hadn't gotten immunized against yet
Enoch Choi, MD:
the immunization is grown in the spring in eggs, and distributed in august
SeatownHero:
I hate needles, and refuse to get flu shots. Is ascorbic acid a sufficient alternative?
Enoch Choi, MD:
no
Enoch Choi, MD:
Vitamin C has no proof of benefit
Enoch Choi, MD:
my wife and i fight about that all the time
ChitChatNine:
Are there any remedies or OTC medications that should be avoided by someone with PVC’s (premature ventricular contractions) when trying to treat a bad cold?
Enoch Choi, MD:
sudafed & afrin are sympathomimetics that will make you have more PVCs
blue_plate_special:
Hello Dr, happy St Patrick's Day! My family's in the military and right now they are giving out flu shots for 2 yrs. and under and the Flu Mist for over 2 yrs. They said the mist is more reliable. My 3 year old and I went ahead and got the flu mist and then found out that we could have mild flu symptoms up to a week or so. I'm just wondering if it's to be expected that we may get sick after the flu mist?  What's is your opinion on the shot verses the flu mist?
Enoch Choi, MD:
The flu mist was initially thought to be more effective based on the way your immune system responded, now we know shots are just as good.  mild flu symptoms as a side effect of the shot or mist usually last less than a week.  you don't have to expect to get sick
Enoch Choi, MD:
either the mist or shot are fine
melissw:
I've had chemo for ovarian cancer in the past and may have to have it again.  Do flu shots have any negative or positive impact?
Enoch Choi, MD:
ask your doctor (oncologist).  it can help if you have enough of an immune system to mount a response to the shot (that your body produces antibodies in response to the shot)
theanswer42:
Does taking flu shots every year kill the body's natural immunity?
Enoch Choi, MD:
no, the body produces more antibodies, and the ones you have already are left intact