May 2, 2017

Interview Transcript

Announcer: Need reliable health and wellness information? Don't listen to the guy in the cube next to you. Get it from a trusted source, straight from the doctor's mouth. Here's this week's Listener Question on The Scope.

Interviewer: All right. Here's the question. Is it possible to have different symptoms from the same bug? And to answer the listener question today, Dr. Tom Miller. So here's a scenario. I come down with something. I don't know if it's a cold or what. But I'm sneezy, runny nose, that sort of thing. A couple of weeks later, my wife gets it except for she's got a fever, slight fever, and sore throat which I didn't have. My contention is that's a completely different bug because it's different symptoms.

Dr. Miller: It might not be. It depends on what's circulating in the community. So first of all, to answer your question about, hey could you have different symptoms than your wife? Yeah, the answer is yes. Sometimes people will feel . . . with the same virus they'll have real achy feeling. Others won't get that. Others will have maybe some gastrointestinal effects, maybe a little bit of diarrhea, some nausea.

Interviewer: Does that tend to be that person's way of manifesting any sort of bug then, generally?

Dr. Miller: No.

Interviewer: Like, if somebody tends to get a sore throat when they get a cold, they're always going to, kind of, tend to get it. And if I tend not to, I'm going to tend not to.

Dr. Miller: No. I don't think there's any evidence to state that.

Interviewer: Okay. All right.

Dr. Miller: I mean, it's tough to know that. But basically, people can come up with variations on the theme but caused by the same virus or same bug, right?

But I think that the question you're asking is, could she have gotten it from you? I would say that if you actually picked it up two weeks ago and you were better in about four or five days, or starting to get better, that she would pick it up a week later. It's possible but probably less likely. We usually will see you within a week or so if a family member comes down with the same thing that the index case or the patient . . .

Interviewer: So it happens pretty quickly?

Dr. Miller: It happens pretty quickly.

Interviewer: Okay.

Dr. Miller: And I think the bigger thing is that these viruses tend to circulate in the community. So you could pick it up from somebody at work. You could pick it up in the grocery store. So what's your best defense? Wash your hands. Wash your hands during the cold and flu season especially if you're around someone who has a cold in that environment. Just make sure you wash your hands frequently.

Interviewer: All right.

Dr. Miller: So it's a great defense.

Interviewer: But I think the important part of this conversation is, I did not give that bug to her. She got it from somebody else.

Dr. Miller: Well, she's not going to believe that. So you're going to have to live with that. It's just you get blamed.

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