Q.Do you know how the name “Cold” came to refer, well, common cold?
A. It spreads in cold weather because we go indoors
The common cold makes fools of us. It’s not just the
runny nose and Daffy Duck speech; it’s our naiveté about preventing,
alleviating and curing the mess.
average, we catch between 100 and 200 colds in our lifetime
Why haven’t we found a
cure for the cold?
There is not just one
cold virus. There are actually more than 200 viruses that make up the common
but they all cause generally
the same symptoms — runny nose, sneezing, coughing, malaise.
like the flu, scientists create a vaccine based on a prediction of which
strains will be most common that winter
That’s just not possible with the
cold, because there are so many viruses.
Why are the symptoms
similar if there are so many different sources?
I think what most
people don’t know, and it’s because the finding is relatively new in the world
of cold science, is that we cause our own cold symptoms. Most common cold
viruses don’t do any direct damage themselves. In response to the virus, the
body’s immune systems makes a whole slew of inflammatory agents, which causes
the runny nose and cough.
So people who have
healthier immune systems may be the ones who suffer the most?
Exactly right. One of
the big myths, I think, about colds is that having a weakened immune system
means being susceptible to colds. And that’s really not the case
Those people who
incessantly wash their hands with antibacterial soap are doing the right thing?
No, actually, this is
a really an important point
A huge misconception in the general public is that
antibacterial soaps and antibiotics in general are effective against colds.
They’re aimed at killing bacteria. The only advantage of antibacterial
soap is that they’re soap and it just helps to dislodge the cold the way
regular soap does.
But you have to do pretty vigorous rubbing for about 15 to
20 seconds, between your fingers, under your fingernails. And then antibiotics
is another critical matter
Is there any sure way
to avoid catching colds?
There’s really nothing
out there that will really help you prevent getting a cold
One of the experts in the book
said the only foolproof way to avoid colds is to become a hermit and the second
most effective way is to stay away from kidsRead more at bnreview.barnesandnoble.com