What Has You Feeling Sick This Winter?

You're sick and these are your symptoms
As a large family of six from Minnesota winters are brutal. All four of our kids are in school, all different schools meaning our potential exposure to germs and different illnesses is very high! It seems like we have been hit with everything this year, maybe twice. The bug comes in and it slowly works its way through the family and by the time the last one is feeling better, the first one has come down with something different and the viscous cycle starts all over. To help you locate symptoms and find out what has taken over your house read below for a full list of symptoms and information.
Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get it from infected food, an infected person, and contaminated surfaces. The germ virus can live for up to 8 hours on a contaminated surface. The virus caused your stomach or intestines to become inflamed. Because of the extreme nature of norovirus and the excessive diarrhea and vomiting most patients become dehydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to avoid further illness and extra complications. Norovirus lasts roughly 24-48 hours.

Norovirus also called acute gastroenteritis symptoms are

  • Stomach pain & cramps (severe)
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
 Influenza (Flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. Influenza infects the nose, throat and lungs.  Influenza can range anywhere from mild, severe illness and even death. Young children, elderly, and pregnant women are at the highest risk for Influenza and serious flu complications. Complications can range anywhere from secondary illnesses such as pneumonia, sinus infections, ear infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions.
Symptoms for Influenza are:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Children may have vomiting and diarrhea
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe symptoms in patients. Ages 65 and older or young children under 5 are most at risk for catching pneumonia. Pneumonia can be viral or bacterial and rarely fungal. Most often pneumonia is spread through secretions that are inhaled.
Pneumonia Symptoms are
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Shaking and chills
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Bluish color of skin due to lack of oxygenated blood
Common Cold is a virus spread through tiny air droplets from someone who is sick and coughs, sneezes  or blows their nose near you. Colds cannot be treated with antibiotics. Only the symptoms can be managed with various over the counter medications.
Cold symptoms are
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Scratchy throat
  • Sneezing
  • May have mild fever
  • Cough
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Postnasal drip
  • Sore throat
Bronchitis is swelling and inflammation of the main air passages to the lungs. The swelling narrows the airways making it difficult to breathe and may cause other symptoms. Secondary infections may happen due to a weakened immune system. Bronchitis is normally not treated with antibiotics. Diagnosis is done with a chest x-ray and a stethoscope to listen to the lungs. Symptoms will last 7-10 days with a lingering cough for up to four weeks later.  Medicine to break up the mucus works best watch labels for “guafenesin”. Your doctor may prescribe an albuterol inhaler to ease breathing difficulty.
Bronchitis symptoms are
  • Chest discomfort
  • Cough that produces mucus (clear, yellow/green)
  • Fatigue
  • Fever – low grade
  • Shortness of breath – worsen with activity
  • Wheezing

 Of course one must keep in mind this is not to officially diagnose any illness, you must see your doctor for diagnosis, treatment and medication recommendations. This is merely just a general guide to assist in the search for symptoms. Remember antibiotics do NOT treat virus illnesses, antibiotics are used for bacterial or fungal infections, not virus

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About Miranda Sherman

Miranda Sherman is a stay at home Mom of four & full time student majoring in Business Management & Marketing from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. She blogs about her crazy family of six & two dogs on her blog Minnesota Miranda, featuring book and product reviews, giveaways, news, parenting tips and advice, shopping, recipes, fashion, travel, deals and so much more.” Find me on Google+


  1. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Very helpful information specially the last part

  2. We have had a couple of these this year so far. Thank goodness no hospital stays yet, and I think we are finally at a point where we once again have a healthy home.

  3. There are so many things going around this winter and many of them tend to stick around for a long time! Thank you for sharing this information!

  4. This winter has been terrible for colds and flus. I have had the flu once this year, and also a common cold. It has been brutal!

  5. What a great informational post! This winter has not been fun for our family. Colds and stomach bugs have been rampant!

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