NVFP Presents: “So You’ve Got a Cold”

Practical Discussions About Upper Respiratory Infections (URI’s)

Join Dr. Cecily Havert and Dr. Elizabeth Cilenti for a timely discussion about one of the most common ailments that virtually everyone experiences: upper respiratory infections (URI’s). We will discuss why URI’s make us feel so bad, how they spread, practical tips on caring for yourself and loved ones, when antibiotics/antivirals are warranted, and common myths surrounding colds. We will also do a quick and dirty rundown of the dizzying array of OTC medications available – when to use what, and what actually works!

Event Highlights:

  • 0:13 – 1:28 – Dr. Elizabeth Cilenti begins the town hall event by welcoming the attendees and introducing her guest, Northern Virginia Family Practice’s very own, Dr. Cecily Havert. Dr. Cilenti also introduces the topic – upper respiratory infections (URI’s).
  • 1:30 – 6:39 – Dr. Havert begins the presentation by first defining what upper respiratory infections are, what causes them, and some of the most common types of URI’s.
  • 6:45 – 10:46 – “So in order to understand the symptoms that we experience when we have a cold, it’s important to actually understand our immune system, because believe it or not, our immune system is actually what is causing us to feel so absolutely miserable when we have a cold.” Dr. Havert explains our immune system and why we feel the symptoms that we feel when we have a URI.
  • 11:00 – 22:31 – How do we treat fevers? What is going on with our immune system when we are having a fever? What are the different medications available that are over the counter? Dr. Havert and Dr. Cilenti discuss what happens when we have fevers and what over-the-counter medications are available.
  • 22:50 – 27:32 – Dr. Havert explains the different nasal sprays the are available and what makes them different. “Having sleep is really important to allowing our immune system to work effectively enough to get rid of the cold. So if these medicines help you sleep, because I know if I have a stuffy nose or if I have a really bad headache or a fever, I’m not going to be sleeping very well. So these medicines can help with that.”
  • 28:23 – 34:03 – Dr. Cilenti and Dr. Havert talk about other remedies for fevers and coughs such as honey, nasal saline sprays, neti-pots, and other moderately effective treatments.
  • 34:23 – 40:25 – “So how to prevent upper respiratory infections? Number one, wash your hands. These usual colds and upper respiratory infections tend to actually live on surfaces.” The providers explain the different complications that can arise from URI’s, how to prevent URI’s from happening, and when you should contact your healthcare provider.
  • 40:50 – 49:28 – Dr. Havert asks attendees four true/false questions and provides her final thoughts before answering questions from attendees.
  • 50:10 – 57:36 – Dr. Havert and Dr. Cilenti answer questions from attendees before Dr. Cilenti closes the town hall by thanking everyone for their time.


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