‘Tis the season for sore scratchy throats, runny noses, chest congestion, coughing, hacking, ear popping, can I please just get to sleep?! cooties.
So I thought I’d share some interesting facts about the common cold:
Every year, Americans fall victim to approximately 1 billion cases of the common cold, reports the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
For children, this causes approximately 22 million missed days of school every year.
The cold virus is often contracted by you touching a contaminated surface then touching your face. It can also sometimes be contracted by breathing in water droplets expelled when an infected person coughs or sneezes. So watch out for shared office equipment, including the microwave buttons, the refrigerator handle, the fax machine, shared telephones–especially shared telephones.
A cold actually begins when a cold virus attaches to the lining of your nose or throat. Your immune system sends white blood cells out to attack this germ. Unless you’ve encountered that exact strain of the virus before, the initial attack fails and your body sends in reinforcements. Your nose and throat get inflamed and produce a lot of mucus.
Several remedies can help alleviate the symptoms of the common cold and hasten your recovery including gargling salt water, staying hydrated by drinking lots of juice or water, and taking over-the-counter antihistamines or cold medications. Antibiotics, however, don’t work because viruses cause colds.
Hang on, springtime is mere weeks away. Wink.