“Cold weather makes you sick,” is a common myth that led to how a “cold” got its name. While some viruses are seasonal, the cold virus is year-round occurring in all temperatures, however it seems to spread more easily in winter, when people are in closer contact indoors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say adults contract an average of two to three colds a year, and children have even more. “Symptoms include sore throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, headaches, and body aches. Most people recover within seven to ten days. However, people with weakened immune systems, asthma, or respiratory conditions may develop serious illness such as pneumonia.”
How to avoid getting a cold this year? The CDC advises, “To reduce your risk, wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. Viruses that cause colds can live on your hands. They’re spread from infected people to others through the air and close personal contact.
“You can also get infected through contact with stool or respiratory secretions from an infected person. This can happen when you shake hands with someone who has a cold, or touch a doorknob that has viruses on it, then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose (where viruses can enter your body and make you sick).”
The CDC adds, “To protect others when you’re sick, stay home while you’re ill. Avoid close contact with others, such as hugging, kissing, and shaking hands. Move away from people before coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs.”
To feel better, the CDC says to rest, drink fluids, and take over-the-counter medications to ease symptoms. There’s no cure for a cold, and antibiotics don’t work against cold viruses.
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