Common cold, common myths - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Common cold, common myths

(Source: Ivanhoe Newswire) (Source: Ivanhoe Newswire)

ORLANDO (Ivanhoe Newswire/WTVM) -- The common cold is fittingly named. There are about 62 million cases in the U.S. every year. Separating the facts from the myths may cut down your chances of catching it.

  • Myth #1: Colds can only be spread if someone with the virus sneezes or coughs near you. A University of Virginia study found they don’t have to be near you. The cold virus can live on furniture, toys and door handles for more than 24 hours.

So, is hand-washing the best defense?

  • Myth #2, surprisingly, it is not. Researchers found that soap and water only removed 31 percent of the cold virus. But rubbing your hands with a hand sanitizer that had 95 percent alcohol content removed 80 percent of the virus.
  • Myth #3: Vitamin C prevents, or relieves, a cold. There have been several large-scale studies testing this theory, but there is no evidence that vitamin-c does much for your sore throat and runny nose.

While there is no vaccine for the common cold-- there is one thing that will drastically cut down your chance of catching it; avoid touching your mouth or nose. Those are the most common places for the virus to enter.

If you have a cold, don’t call your doctor for a Z pack or other antibiotics. A cold is caused by a virus; antibiotics only treat illnesses caused by bacteria. And studies show taking antibiotics while having a cold can cause stomach problems.

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