January 2015

Can I avoid a cold this year?

The common cold and upper respiratory infections are caused by one of over 200 viruses; the most common being the rhinoviruses and coronaviruses. It is almost impossible to avoid catching a cold: there is no cure, and with so many viruses as the culprit, immunisaton is not possible. 

There are steps you can take to help reduce your personal risk or spreading the virus to others:

  • Change your toothbrush often and don't share it!
  • Wash your hands regularly and properly and avoid touching your nose and eyes. This can help prevent direct contact with the virus. Most people who are infected do not show symptoms for 2 - 3 days and will continue to be contagious while they have symptoms.
  • Sneeze and cough into tissues, dispose of them properly and wash your hands. This will help prevent virus containing droplets from entering the air and infecting others.
  • Clean surfaces regularly. This will help keep surfaces in your home virus free and limit the risk to family members.
  • Use disposable paper towels or air dry your hands. Using a shared towel can spread the virus.
  • Keep up a healthy routine. Make sure you get your exercise, eat right, and reduce stress to enhance your immune system.

Does temperature matter?

It seems that a 'cool' nose is more susceptible to the rhinovirus than a 'warm' nose. Research showed that the rhinovirus replicate more robustly when the nose temperature is between 33 - 35 degrees compared to normal body temperature of 37 degrees, but the reason for this difference is not fully understood.

A recent study looked at a mouse-adapted virus and found that the cooler temperatures allowed replication of the virus by diminishing antiviral immune responses. This is a start to understanding why adults get 2 - 4 colds a year, mostly in the winter months. You can blame it on the kids who represent the main reservoir for the cold virus and bring it home to the family or share it with friends in the nursery or school.  This can be a challenge as school children can suffer as much as 10 colds a year!

Fact or Fiction?

  • You can catch a cold from Kissing
    False. Rhinovirus rarely enter our bodies through the mouth.
  • Vitamin C won't stop a cold
    True. It does not prevent a cold but may reduce the duration slightly.
  • Antibiotics help reduce cold symptoms
    False. Colds are caused by viruses. Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections. Avoid antibiotics use for viral infections: they do not help your cold symptoms, can raise your resistance to antibiotics and lead to antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.
  • Chicken soup is good for a cold
    True. There seems to be some evidence of a mild-anti-inflammatory effect.

Next Chance to Meet with the Waterpik International Team

Waterpik International, Inc. will showcase its range of water flossers and sonic toothbrushes on stand C70 and also sponsor CPD General Medical Conditions and How They Affect Treatment Planning.

Come and meet the team to find out more and be among the first to see what is new.

For more information on Waterpik International, Inc. please visit www.waterpik.co.uk. Waterpik® products are available in Boots and at Superdrug stores across the UK and Ireland.