Experts’ 10 Best Home Remedies—Using Stuff Around Your House

Editor’s note: A version of this article was published in My Family Doctor magazine.* When you’re in a pinch, try these top, expert-suggested remedies—using things you already have around the house! […]

The Top 10 Most Popular Posts About Surviving Colds and the Flu

>> Looking for a meaningful last-minute gift? Click here for sales on my survival training courses. No shipping required. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH The difference between cold and flu symptoms is somewhat a question of severity. Whereas a cold may make you feel like you’ve just run a race, the flu makes you feel like someone beat you with a baseball bat along the way. A cold can make you ache and feel fatigued. You can feel miserable and even run a low-grade fever or 100 F or so. But the flu puts you in the bed (where you should be). If you don’t listen to your body and take care of yourself, you could end up in the hospital. People die from the flu. Just in time to celebrate the upcoming cold and flu season, here are my most popular posts about surviving colds and the flu for 2014. […]

By | December 22nd, 2014|Infectious Disease|2 Comments

4 Common Causes of Coughs in Kids—With a Printable Chart

Part 2 in my childhood charts series. See more charts here. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH This is part two of my series about tips on recognizing childhood illness. Last time, I talked about illnesses with rashes. This time, it’s illnesses that come with bad coughs. […]

By | August 11th, 2014|Children, Infectious Disease|1 Comment

Is It a Cold or the Flu? How to Tell the Difference

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH One reason colds and the flu spread during winter is the same reason they’ll spread during a disaster: There are lots of crowds. Respiratory infections don’t care whether you’re in an emergency shelter after a flood or a crowded mall the week before Christmas; they’re just thrilled about the opportunity to multiply. As such, it’s a good idea to be able to differentiate a common cold from the full-blown flu. Why? Because usually with a cold, you get over it no matter what you do. The flu can be different, and the complications can be deadly. […]

By | December 16th, 2013|Cold, Infectious Disease|6 Comments

Sinus Infection Remedies (And Why You Might Not Need Antibiotics)

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH When I was a young doctor and just out of training, I developed a toothache. After a few days of not getting better, I went to my dentist. I assumed, best case, that I’d need a filling. I’d only had one filling before and wasn’t exactly looking forward to another one, but I had to do something for the pain. Well, after the dentist did a thorough exam and X-rayed the area, he told me my teeth were perfectly fine. I couldn’t believe it. He then, as tactfully as he could, suggested that perhaps I had a sinus infection. This took me by surprise. My tooth hurt, not my sinuses. Well, after over a week of pain, I swallowed my pride and started on antibiotics. In about three days, the pain was gone. Oh, it’s come back since, but not in a long time. Because since that time, I’ve come up with some sinus infection remedies—things I can do to prevent an infection or stop it in its tracks when I feel it coming on. […]

By | January 31st, 2013|Infectious Disease|99 Comments

Why Does My Nose Run When I Have a Cold?

A family doctor explains why your nose runs when you have a cold. [Editor’s note: This article was originally hosted on, our sister site. It’s now featured here as part of our new general-health section.] […]

When to Treat a Cough With Antibiotics

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH In case you haven’t noticed, it’s the cold and flu season. In fact my last few posts have dealt with “Flu Shots: The Good and the Bad,” things you can to do if you get the flu, and “How NOT to Die From the Flu.” But now, your cold or flu symptoms are over, except for that lingering cough. Do you need antibiotics? How long can a cough linger and just be related to getting over your virus? Two new studies investigate these questions and give some surprising (at least to me) findings—findings that I think might help you decide for yourself, especially if you can’t get medical help and antibiotics are in short supply. […]

By | January 24th, 2013|Infectious Disease|11 Comments

What Does Green Snot Mean? 13 Cold and Flu FAQs

I’m gradually transferring popular posts from another site I publish,, to this one. They’re located in my new general-health section. Many were written by guest authors, and they’re all really good. Check them out. I think this one, though, meets The Survival Doctor criteria well enough to be a featured post. Weird Stuff Q. Doctor, my nose has been running for three days, and now it’s green! What does that mean? […]

By | October 16th, 2012|Infectious Disease|40 Comments

How to Avoid a Brain-Eating Amoeba. (Is Nasal Irrigation Safe?)

Microscopic image of brain tissue infected by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri. Places it’s found include fresh water, heated swimming pools, and hydrotherapy pools, according to the CDC. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH I’ve long recommended nasal irrigation as prevention and treatment for colds and allergies. Then came the report of brain-eating amoeba. […]

By | September 20th, 2012|Infectious Disease|86 Comments

New Details on Safest Cough Medicine

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Over-the-counter cold and cough medicines are no longer an option for children under five. That’s what makes the information in a new study so great. We already knew honey was a good alternative for a cough—actually better in some cases than anything else—but now we know more details. […]

By | August 9th, 2012|Children, Infectious Disease|33 Comments