Feeling sick? See what's going around in your area

By Nicole Johnson  bio | email | Twitter

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Several viral illnesses are going around the Lowcountry and doctor's offices are prepared for a busy start to the new year.

In West Ashley and James Island, some doctors say they have seen the flu, respiratory viruses, and strep throat. Dr. Craig Davis at James Island Pediatrics says a big reason why winter illnesses are so common is because when it is cold outside people come in more contact with each other indoors, and if you ever have cold-like symptoms and fever, you could be contagious.

"It's generally a pretty good rule of thumb that while you have a fever you can consider yourself infectious and you should try to minimize contact particularly with group like young babies or elderly people or immunocompromised in any way," Davis said.

In Summerville and the North Charleston area, emergency room doctors with Trident Health System are seeing several flu cases including possible H1N1, respiratory viruses, strep throat, and gastroenteritis. Dr. Tim Osbon says viruses just have to run their course, sometimes lasting a few days up to a week, with residual symptoms that can last for weeks.

"Eliminate exposure to those that are sick, like the old fashioned quarantine, put them in the house, close them up, let them watch TV, and relax, drink fluids, and stay hydrated to get better," Obson said.

Doctors say you can help stop the spread of certain viruses by using hand sanitizer, washing your hands and wiping surfaces with anti-bacterial whips.

Doctors say over the counter drugs or prescribed Tamiflu or steroids can help treat symptoms of certain viruses like the flu, but consult your doctor before taking any drugs as certain drugs may only be helpful for certain patients.

In Mount Pleasant, doctors with Nason Medical Center they have seen several cases of the flu and pneumonia going around.

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