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Get Set for Winter—Gloves, Scarf and Thermometers

If you feel sick enough to call your doctor when a cold or flu strikes, his first question will be: Do you have a fever? You can feel pretty sick with a relatively simple cold, but one of the best ways for your doctor to evaluate your illness is by your temperature.

Unfortunately most people rely on the traditional ‘kiss on the forehead’ measurement. While this may be comforting, it does not replace the thermometer. Just telling your doctor that you feel hot will not do the job. A fever will tell us if the infection is severe or may indicate that a secondary bacterial infection has developed. Doctors need temperature measurements to help us decide on the best medication, if you should come in to be checked out, or even if a chest X-ray is appropriate.

Thermometers are inexpensive and easy to use. If you take only one piece of advice from my book, I hope it is that everyone should have a working thermometer in their home.

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