Ask the Doctor: Monkeypox, fatigue, sinus congestion

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 1:36 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every week on 16 News Now at Noon to answer your medical questions.

Question #1: “As of last week, there were two confirmed cases of Monkeypox in Indiana. Can you tell us what the symptoms are and how it’s contracted?”

DR. BOB: Monkeypox is a viral infection. The virus that causes it belongs to the same family as smallpox.

Normally, the virus only circulates in Africa and typically causes human infections when there is exposure to an infected animal’s blood or being bitten.

The current outbreak is thought to be transmitted through physical touch in romantic relationships.

Patients with monkeypox typically develop a flu like illness, followed by the characteristic rash which involves spots on the skin that start as spots but progress to pustules.

There are some treatments, but most people recover after a mild illness without any treatment needed.

Question #2 (from Chuck): “I get very tired throughout the day, even though I get enough sleep every night. What can I do other than drink coffee to keep myself going?

DR. BOB: Fatigue is a very difficult symptom to investigate. There are dozens and dozens of possible causes. I recommend you see your doctor to have a complete evaluation.

However, a common cause of fatigue that we are seeing more and more often is obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea means that while you sleep, the weight of your neck slightly constricts your airway and you either breath shallowly or stop breathing for short periods.

This causes your brain to wake up slightly to help you breathe. You may not realize this is happening, but it prevents deep sleep.

Overall sleep apnea can lead to sleep that is not deep or restorative and can lead to daytime drowsiness.

Thankfully, we have good tests to diagnose sleep apnea, and it can be treated.

Question #3 (from Jan): “I have sinus pressure and drainage all the time and frequent sore throats. Are the two related?

DR. BOB: Sinus congestion can be due to many things but this time of year it is usually due to allergies.

Allergies lead to itchy eyes, runny nose, and often a scratchy throat.

I would recommend trying an over-the-counter allergy medicine like Loratadine to see if it helps your symptoms. If so, you probably have some allergies, and it would be helpful to keep a diary of what worsens your symptoms so you can try to avoid triggers.

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