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Fun Facts About the Not So Fun Common Cold

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The most widely spread viral infection affecting the upper respiratory tract is better known as the good old common cold, but for most of us, not so good. There are more than 200 different types of viruses known to cause the common cold which is why there is not a vaccine for it.  It is easily spread through germs from an infected person. Here are some fun facts about the not so fun common cold.

One of the easiest ways to avoid catching a cold is to wash your hands a lot. Not everyone practices this simple hygienic step. Soap is better than alcohol based hand sanitizers when it comes to cold viruses. It’s important to lather up for 15- 20 seconds to kill germs. 9 out of 10 people report that they wash their hands regularly, but in reality only 7 out of 10 people do.

Cold viruses usually enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth. So avoid touching them if you haven’t washed your hands. Cold viruses are very contagious. Cold rates go up during the colder months.

Most kids experience twice as many colds (up to 12 in a year) as their parents get every year (about 2 to 4 colds). Fortunately, each cold we battle may help make us less susceptible to the next one.

For most people, a cold usually lasts up to a week but may take longer for others like children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. A cold virus takes about 48 hours to incubate or reproduce itself upon entering the body. A person is most contagious during the first few days of their cold.

The common cold is the top reason for doctor appointments in the United States, more than any other condition.  Teachers, bankers, accountants, radio DJs and doctors have some of the most germ ridden occupations.

So when cold season arrives, remember a sneeze can have speeds over 100 mph. Coughs can release explosives bursts of air up to 60 mph. Both are good reasons to cover your nose or mouth when you may be sick.  And don’t forget to wash your hands!

Krieger, Elizabeth B. “Fascinating Facts About the Common Cold.” RealSimple.com. 25 Aug. 2010. 27 Oct.

2013. [http://simplystated.realsimple.com/2010/08/25/cold-facts/].

Nixon, Robin. “The Common Cold:  Myths and Facts.” Livescience.com. 5 Sept. 2008. 27 Oct. 2013.

http://www.livescience.com/2839-common-cold-myths-facts.html.

Facts About the Common Cold.  American Lung Association. 2013. 27 Oct. 2013.

[http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/influenza/in-depth-resources/facts-about-the-common-cold.html].


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