Welcome to North Shore Health Department The North Shore Health Department Highlights for 12/6/2016 Did You Know? Winter commonly brings coughs and colds. However, there are special cases where a cough may be due to more than “just a cold.” Cold symptoms include a cough, sneezing, stuffy or runny nose and shortness of breath and usually last 7-10 days. Some more serious medical conditions that can develop from a cold or other illness, or be confused for a cold include: Pertussis (“Whooping Cough”) begins with cold-like symptoms, but after 1-2 weeks, pertussis can cause violent and rapid coughing, over and over, until the air is gone from the lungs and a person is forced to inhale with a loud "whooping" sound. This extreme coughing can even cause vomiting and leaves a person very tired. Since 2010, cases of pertussis among children and teens have increased. Read more about pertussis at http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/about/signs-symptoms.html. Croup can be caused by a group of diseases, but is most commonly caused by a virus. The illness commonly is manifested in young children by a hoarse voice; dry, barking cough; a high-pitched whistling breath sound, and respiratory distress that develops over a brief period of time. Read more about croup at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/croup/home/ovc-20166699. Pneumonia is an inflammation of one or both lungs, usually caused by an infection. The symptoms are similar to cold symptoms, but they last longer and may also include chest pain, fatigue, fever, chills, and mental confusion (especially in the elderly). Read more about pneumonia at: https://www.cdc.gov/pneumonia/. Influenza (“the flu”) is different from a cold in that it usually comes on suddenly, and more intensely. In addition to cold symptoms, influenza symptoms can include fever, body aches, fatigue and headache. Most people who develop influenza recover within two weeks, but in some vulnerable populations (children, elderly, immune-compromised), the flu can result in hospitalization and even death. Learn more at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/index.htm. Most respiratory conditions (other than the common cold) can be decreased or prevented by vaccination. These include the seasonal flu vaccine, pneumococcal, pertussis and Haemophilus Influenza B (HIB). Missed the highlights? Click here to view previous highlights.