By Lynne Adkins
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you feel as if you’ve been sick for weeks, you could have a virus that’s been going around and around.
Doctors’ offices are filling up with coughing patients who have been sick for weeks and weeks.
Dr. Richard Tepper, chief of infectious diseases at Holy Redeemer Hospital in Montgomery County, says there are two viruses going around: one’s the common cold, the other is the one that seems to last a lifetime.
“It affects the lining of the lung and, even if the virus dies, it takes time for your body to heal and cough can persist and it’s not uncommon for this in younger children to cause wheezing,” Tepper explained.
It is Respiratory Syncytial Virus and since it’s a virus, antibiotics don’t help, but over-the-counter medicines can ease the symptoms.
“It causes bronchitis, bronchiolitis, general lower respiratory tract infection. It can cause pneumonia, it can lag on and be severe and you can get it again,” Tepper said.
He adds it’s easily spread, so cover your mouth when coughing and wash your hands a lot.