It's the patsylab again

Jenny Scarborough

A cross section of islanders and even some visitors have been laid low by a summer cold.

The clinic recommends common sense remedies, beginning with rest and plenty of fluids. Regular and thorough hand washing is your best prevention.

The inflicted are likely only infectious during the first few days, or while running a fever, said Nurse Practitioner Gail Covington. The cold seems to be going on a week or longer.

Adults are complaining of feverish sinus infections. For some, there is a startling gastro-intestinal aspect to this funk. Kids and a few unlucky adults also get an accompanying sore throat.

"I felt like I'd swallowed glass shards," said bartender Beatle Haddad, who is no longer incapacitated.

"Many of us push ourselves to go to work this time of year," said Covington, whose first piece of advice is to "Listen to your body." Are you tired? Weak? Achy? Rest!

How miserable is this cold? Kenny Ballance said he'd rather have three winter colds than one summer cold. Now that he's on the mend, Kenny is looking forward to his first 4th of July off duty in 35 years.

After rest, Covington's first line of assault is to treat your symptoms with old fashioned remedies like a brew of honey and lemon. Gargle warm salt water. Apply heat to achy sinuses and tilt your head back to drain them. If you're up to it, go breathe in some ocean air. The humidity can actually be of use, though pollen may aggravate some symptoms.

Over the counter meds like Mucinex, ibuprofen and Tylenol can help. If symptoms persist past seven days, you may need to head to the Health Center, said Covington.

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