Maybe the best gift to give this holiday season isn't a physical present, but the gift of wellness.  Illinoisans are getting hit hard with all sorts of respiratory viruses.

Just a few weeks ago, I was out with strep throat for days after I came down with a nasty 103 fever, ear infections, irritated throat, and every symptom in the book.  Fast forward to today, I have either a severe cold or the flu.  No matter what kind of sickness it is, it's not fun to feel crappy.

Everyone around me has been coming down with something.  Here's what has been going around Illinois since cold and flu season are in full swing.

COMMON COLD - Sip warm liquids, turn on a humidifier, get tons of rest, soothe your sore throat, and try over-the-counter meds to speed up the healing process.

Common symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat

Related: Major Increase In This Respiratory Virus Spreading In Illinois

THE FLU - Drink plenty of fluids, load up on meds recommended by your doctor, and get plenty of rest.

Common symptoms include:

  • fever* or feeling feverish/chills.
  • cough.
  • sore throat.
  • runny or stuffy nose.
  • muscle or body aches.
  • headaches.
  • fatigue (tiredness)

COVID-19 - If you test positive, you're highly encouraged to stay home, have good air circulation in your home, lots of hand washing, rest, and drink plenty of fluids.

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

RSV - this is the most common cause for lower respirator tract infections and nearly 60,000 to 120,000 older adults are hospitalized due to this virus.

Common symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Wheezing

Related: Surge Of Dangerous Bacterial Infection Spreading Across Illinois

No matter what kind if illness you have come down with, make sure you're taking the proper steps to relieve the pain you're feeling and get tons of fluids in your body so you're not dehydrated.

Cold and flu season don't last forever, but it comes around every year and there's no escaping it.  Mask up if you have to - protect yourself and others!

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