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Cold, Flu, Allergy (cont.)

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Sore throat and other symptoms

Viruses are the most common cause of sore throat. A sore throat caused by a cold virus usually resolves in one to two weeks without treatment. On the other hand, a sore throat caused by the Streptococcus bacterium (strep throat) should be treated with antibiotics to prevent damage to the heart valves. Generally, Streptococcus bacteria cause a more severe sore throat and a higher fever than viral sore throats, but it is not always possible to distinguish the two without laboratory testing. Sneezing, runny nose, and cough more frequently accompany sore throats due to a cold virus, rather than Streptococcus infections. Sometimes, a throat culture or other lab test is necessary to establish the cause of the sore throat.

Medications that are available OTC for the temporary relief of sore throat due to the common cold usually contain anesthetics such as benzocaine and dyclonine or menthol and come in the form of lozenges, gargles, and sprays. Children often prefer Popsicles, ice cream, yogurt, pudding, smoothies, or other cool/soft foods in lieu of traditional medications. Aside from their analgesic effects, these foods also provide some nutritional benefit.

Examples of sore throat medications include Cepacol Sore Throat Maximum Strength and Sucrets sore throat lozenges.

What about vitamin C and zinc?

Vitamin C is an antioxidant. In the 1970s, Linus Pauling proposed that vitamin C could reduce the incidence and severity of common cold. To date, there is no conclusive evidence that mega-doses of vitamin C prevent colds or decrease the severity and duration of cold symptoms. The article on vitamins further discusses the use of vitamins and antioxidants in preventing diseases.

Zinc has been proposed as an antiviral medication. Some studies suggest that the frequent administration of zinc lozenges may reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms if started within hours of the onset of cold symptoms, while other studies have not supported this conclusion. No studies have conclusively demonstrated the effectiveness of zinc in children either.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/24/2013

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Cold, Flu, Allergy - Treatments Question: What treatments did you use for your cold, flu, and or allergies?
Cold, Flu, Allergy - Symptoms Question: Please describe your cold, flu, or allergy symptoms.
Cold, Flu, Allergy - Diagnosis Question: Discuss your symptoms and any tests or exams that led to an allergy diagnosis.
Cold, Flu, Allergy - Cough Treatment Question: When you get a cough, what treatment or remedies help soothe your symptoms?
Cold, Flu, Allergy - Sore Throat Treatment Question: If you get sore throats, what treatment works best? Please share home remedies for treating a sore throat.
Cold, Flu, Allergy - Strep Throat Question: If you've had strep throat, how did your symptoms differ from a regular sore throat?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/cold_flu_allergy/article.htm

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