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Phone Numbers
NorthBay Center for Primary Care - Call Center:
(707) 646-5500
NorthBay Center for Primary Care - Vacaville:
421 Nut Tree Rd, Vacaville CA 95687
NorthBay Center for Primary Care -Fairfield:
2458 Hilborn Rd, Fairfield CA 94534
NorthBay Center for Primary Care - Green Valley:
4520 Business Center Dr, Fairfield CA 94534
Office Hours
Call Center:
Mon – Fri: 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Office Hours:
Mon – Fri: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

A cough here, a sneeze there… and it’s cold season. Your worst fears are realized when you wake up the next morning with a headache and sore throat: You’ve caught the bug.

We asked one of our Primary Care physicians, Darshan Patel, M.D., what he recommends for patients fighting off a cold. Here’s his advice:

  • If you are suffering with body aches, headaches, scratchy throat, ear aches and fevers, medicine such as Tylenol can help.
  • Antihistamines and decongestants can combat sneezing, nasal congestion and runny noses; eucalyptus oil is also a great natural decongestant.
  • Steam can help decongest the nose and sinuses.
  • Drink plenty of liquids and soup, but don’t overdo it.
  • Gargling with salted water, putting honey and ginger in your tea or sucking on throat lozenges can all ease a sore throat.
  • There’s no need for antibiotics. They only help in cases of bacterial infections, not viral infections… And forget about downing jugs of orange juice. Once symptoms appear, Vitamin C won’t help.

In most cases, it just has to run its course. But, if your fever or symptoms are severe, and even over-the-counter medication is not helping, you may need to see a physician. Some colds can progress into other infections, such as sinusitis, ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia.

If you have a pre-existing condition, such as asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), or lung or breathing problems, it’s better to play it safe and see a doctor.

Of course the best offense is a good defense, so do all that you can to avoid catching a cold or flu in the first place.

That starts with great hand hygiene. Be sure to wash and sanitize frequently. Cold-inducing viruses may remain viable on skin for up to two hours, warns Dr. Patel.

If you know you’re going to be in close contact with someone who is sick, wear a mask to prevent exposure. It also helps to be as healthy as you can – by getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet, regular exercise and getting your annual flu shot.

Darshan Patel, MD | Internal Medicine | Green Valley, Fairfield

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