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Ounce of prevention, pound of cure
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Dear Editor,
I read the article in the Great Bend Tribune: “Widespread flu activity occurring in Kansas” (Jan 27 issue). The article correctly noted that “No flu, but flu like diseases cropping up in Barton County.” I think that is a very pivotal statement. A few weeks ago, my cousin got what seemed to be a cold or flu. She got her flu shot a couple months ago. She was sick, but it was mostly an annoyance with cough, slight sore throat, and moderate lung congestion. After about a week later, I came down with a cough and lung congestion, too. However my case was magnified or much worse. The chest congestion was more pronounced especially at night. My throat felt exceedingly sore and raw, almost as if I had broken-glass scratching the throat. It was even difficult to breath due to mucus buildup in the nasal passages and throat. This was beyond the “normal” cold or flu. It didn’t take me long to seek a medical doctor who, thankfully, listened to my lungs with stethoscope and said he heard major ‘crackles’ inside my lungs and airways. He asked if I had my yearly flu-shot. I replied that “yes, I got this year’s flu-shot.” After a few more diagnostic questions, my doctor came to a more narrowed prognosis. He said I had bronchitis. He prescribed an antibiotic, an antibiotic cough syrup and he asked if he could give me a shot. I asked “A shot of what?” He replied: “A steroid shot to make the medicine work better.” I readily agreed. I am lucky, I began to get on the mend. I encourage anyone to pay attention to their body, to stay hydrated, and to stay warm -- especially their core body temperature. Even if I had bronchitis, I highly suspect it was a viral type sickness. Even if the weather feels relatively tolerable. Dress for warmth. Bide your time until solid warmth of spring is here. If possible, avoid shaking-hands during this winter season (whether at Church, civic groups or at social functions). If we avoid close contact and hand-to-hand spread of germs (especially in large crowds) we have the power to somewhat curb the chances of those germs being spread to others. It may not be the flu, but if you get it, you will feel as sick as if it were the flu. Don’t run the risk. Best of all: Take your vitamins and get plenty of rest. I believe that a lot of people could be shielded from the brunt of outbreaks, such as this, if they’d take these common-sense precautions. I feel sorry for the people stuck in hospitals and nursing-homes who are confined to the same old germs whirling-around. Those people could have even a small cold escalate into pneumonia. Nothing beats taking precautions. Like my fine grandmother Marples used to say: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
James A. Marples,