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Bad cough that won't quit part of winter virus going around

(Courtesy: CNN/CNN Newsource)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) – There’s a warning from emergency medicine specialists if you have a bad cough that won't go away.

The flu is on the rise, but another nasty virus is also going around the Tri-State.

For weeks now, there have been reports of a lot of illnesses going around, including some gastrointestinal things. But the one that many are hearing the most about is a bad respiratory infection.

It is different from the flu because the flu tends to come on suddenly. With this one, you'll feel those symptoms set in but they can have bad complications that can range from just time in bed to a visit to the emergency room.

“Recently we have been seeing a big surge of the upper respiratory type of symptoms, the cough the congestion, the feeling really short of breath,” said Dr. Kenneth Patton of Bethesda North Hospital.

By the time they are wheeled in, Dr. Kenneth Patton says that shortness of breath is really evident.

“They are retracting, their ribs are doing a lot of work. You can see their neck muscles, you can really see that they are having a hard time breathing,” said Dr. Patton.

He says he has big concerns it will continue to spread this holiday weekend at the family get-togethers, especially to older adults.

“A common cold to you and me, maybe a very serious pneumonia or illness for them,” said Dr. Patton.

The big complaint from many is how long the virus sticks around with a cough that won't quit.

“When it's lasting more than seven days, you have to worry it's turned bacterial,” said Dr. Patton.

Bacterial infections can be treated in the ER with medications and IV fluids for rehydration.

“For the upper respiratory infection, really there's no treatment, it's a virus,” said Dr. Patton.

If those symptoms linger, you want to make sure you seek proper medical attention.

The team at Bethesda North says if you want to keep from catching the virus, wash your hands, and stay as far away as possible from people who are sick.

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