INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - You knew it was coming. The flu season is back. Some Hoosiers got shots but others opted out. But as the flu strikes so does the common cold.
Dr. Daren Beam, an emergency physician at IU Health Methodist Hospital, says the recent cold snap is forcing people into more confined spaces, where it's easier to trade germs. The virus is spread by close contact with people.
- FIND YOUR VACCINE | You can search for a location providing flu vaccines here
"The infections go in waves. We are seeing the first of the flu season here," Dr. Beam said. "The signs and symptoms consist of runny nose, headaches, body aches, fever, nausea and vomiting."
But the emergency room at Methodist Hospital isn't the only place seeing a flood of patients. Some folks started the new year waiting to be seen by a health care specialist at Walgreens near North Meridian and 16th streets.
Maureen Meyer and her 4-year-old daughter stopped by the clinic Tuesday morning. Meyer's daughter complained of a cough and sneeze. Plus, she displayed possible symptoms of pink eye.
Turns out, Meyer was a patient at the clinic earlier in the week. She and her family are visiting from New Mexico.
"Being sick isn't fun for moms or children," Meyer said.
Dozens of multi-symptom cold medications are on the market. But it could be tough choosing the best treatment. Dr. Beam says your symptoms determine what is best.
"For a healthy person — not elderly children or people who have chronic medical conditions — there are many over the counter remedies for decongestants and cough suppressants," Beam said. "They are all for symptomatic care and relief. But most viruses, colds and flu run their course regardless of the symptomatic treatment."
For example, nasal decongestants help unclog a stuffy nose. Cough suppressants quiet your cough and antihistamines stop runny noses or sneezing. At the end of the day, Dr. Beam says medicines that are available aren't cures, but relief for a few hours to help cope.
To compare cold and flu symptoms, click here .
A winter weather advisory was issued for Wayne, Union, Switzerland, Ripley, Ohio, Franklin, Fayette and Dearborn counties on Saturday night.
IMPD officials say a 3-year-old boy has died after he was shot in the head Saturday evening.
Andy Dalton regained his passing touch on a wintery afternoon, keeping the Cincinnati Bengals firmly in control of the AFC North.