This is the first time I have heard the term “Festival Flu,” but it does explain many of the complaints I see during the summer months particularly from younger patients. Festival Flu is a term that incorporates a variety of symptoms that you can pick up at music and community festivals during the summer months.

The most common symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny nose, watery itchy eyes, fever and body aches. Remember that at most of these events you are subjected to dirt, pollen and even secondhand smoke and if you catch a show on a rainy day there is mud, mold, grass and weeds along with other allergens.

How do you help prevent Festival Flu? Washing your hands, hydrating, not smoking and starting your allergy medications a little earlier in the season can help. You could consider wearing a mask in special situations and try to maintain a healthy diet.

Unfortunately, there is not good treatment for the Festival Flu unless a specific cause is found such as a bacterial or viral infection but getting rest and plenty of fluids is a good place to start. Consider some over the counter medications for the relief of symptoms but if you are getting progressively worse seek some medical attention.

Music and community festivals are a great part of the summer and fall seasons but be alert to the potential for the above-mentioned symptoms and do what you can to prevent symptoms from spoiling your fun.