Do you Know These Cold and Flu Facts?
Allison Tsai | May 22, 2012
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Being cold will bring on a cold.
Researchers at Cardiff University's Common Cold Center have proved Mom may be on to something. They recruited 180 volunteers, half of whom had to immerse their feet in iced water for twenty minutes a day while the other half sat with their feet in an empty bowl. During the course of five days, almost a third (29 percent) of the chilled volunteers developed cold symptoms compared to just 9 percent in the control group. Professor Ron Eccles, co-researcher on the study offered this explanation: "When colds are circulating in the community, many people are mildly infected but show no symptoms. If they become chilled, this causes a pronounced constriction of the blood vessels in the nose and shuts off the warm blood that supplies the white cells that fight infection. The reduced defenses in the nose allow the virus to get stronger and common cold symptoms develop. Although the chilled subject believes they have caught a cold,' what has, in fact, happened is that the dormant infection has taken hold." So, bundle up.
If you have a sinus infection, you need antibiotics.
A 2007 British study of 240 patients found that people who took amoxicillin, the most commonly prescribed antibiotic to treat sinus infections, didn't recover any faster than those who didn't take any medicine.
Green mucus means a sinus infection
Green mucus doesn't always mean a sinus infection. According to Neil Schachter, M.D., author of The Good Doctor`s Guide to Colds and Flu, green mucus may signal a sinus infection if the mucus becomes thicker, increases in quantity, or is accompanied by a fever or pain. In this case, a call your physician would be in order.
Chicken soup is good for what ails you.
When battling a cold, chicken soup really does help. Neil Schachter, M.D., explains: "In addition to providing nutrition, fluids and mucus-dissolving warmth, chicken soup actually reduces the inflammatory compounds, called cytokines, that rise with a cold and flu, and trigger body aches, fever, and fatigue. Studies have actually shown that chicken soup inhibits the release of neutrophils, thus reducing the discomfort of a respiratory infection."
Over-the-counter cold and flu remedies are helpful for children
You may want to get rid of those pediatric cold medicines altogether. The FDA issued a health advisory in early 2008 saying that over-the-counter cold and cough remedies can cause dangerous side effects in children under two. It's always good to err on the side of caution and ask your doctor before giving any medicine to children.
Vitamin C will prevent a cold.
According to a comprehensive review of data from several decades, which included more than 11,000 people, the results showed that daily doses of at least 200 milligrams of vitamin C had virtually no impact on either prevalence or duration of colds than in people who didn't take vitamin C. However, the researchers did find that marathon runners were 50% less likely to catch a cold if they took a daily dose of vitamin C.
A cold is most contagious before symptoms appear.
People are most contagious for the first 2 to 3 days of a cold, and usually not contagious by day 7 to 10.