How Do You Catch a Cold?
We hate it when we catch one and even though they're quite common, colds are something you want to avoid spreading around. So, how much do you know about keeping sniffles and sneezes away? Play along with our Everwell Challenge and find out!
1. You're most likely to catch a cold you if you:
A. Go out in cold weather with a wet head
B. Kiss someone who has a cold
C. Shake hands with someone who has a cold.
2. True or false: there are three types of cold viruses.
3. When is a cold most contagious?
4. Stress can increase your susceptibility to colds. Is it true or false?
5. Here's one that might blow you away. When someone with a cold sneezes, about how many feet can the germs travel?
6. Okay, our last question is nothing to sneeze at. Which is a proven way to kick a cold?
C. Vitamin c
For the correct answers we turned to infectious disease expert, Dr. Eileen Schneider.
1. The answer is C. shaking hands with somebody who has a cold.
That's mostly because a lot of times the virus gets on environmental surfaces including hands and skin and they can survive for a long period of time.
Touching things that would be contaminated with the virus from someone else who has a cold and they touch it and then once you touch your eyes, any mucus membrane like your eyes, your nose, your mouth t hen you have an increased risk of getting the cold.
Dr. Schneider says while shaking hands carries the biggest risk, kissing someone who has a cold would also put you at risk because there are viruses within the saliva and mucous.
Because cold viruses survive on all kinds of surfaces, a simple handshake can spread those viruses from one person to the next.
And once you touch your eyes, any mucous membrane like your eyes, your nose or mouth then you have an increased risk of getting a cold.
That's why it's so important to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water to lower the risk of spreading a cold virus.
2. False. There are more than 200 viruses known to cause the common cold. Some can be mild, some can be much more serious.
3. Usually it's in the first two to four days after developing symptoms. So, if somebody knows they're developing symptoms of a common cold, they should let people know they may be contagious.
4. True. Whenever you're under stress, whether it's stress from work or stress from being outside, physical stress, it just weakens your body's host immune defenses and puts you at greater risk of developing infections in general.
I think the key is to eliminate factors that weaken your immune system so you can maintain a good immune sys, trying t eliminate stress, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, all those are ways u can make sure your immune status stays in good condition so you can fight colds.
5. Studies have shown sneezes travel up to twelve feet. People should try should be aware of this so when they do sneeze they should cover up to eliminate or at least reduce the risk of people coming into contact with the virus particles in the droplets.
To reduce your rick of catching a cold, steer clear of a sneeze. And if you're the one sneezing, cover-up. When people sneeze they can transmit these virus particles thru the air. They land on environmental surfaces and then someone can come by touch that surface and if they touch their nose or mouth or eyes they can actually get the virus and be at risk for developing the common cold.
6. None of these have been actually proven to kick a cold. Some people may get symptom relief from the vitamins. As long as it's not an excessive dose--if it's within the recommended daily dose, if they feel it maybe helped them in terms of decreasing their symptoms then they should consider taking it but right now there's no scientific evidence that it does prevent colds from occurring.
And antibiotics treat bacterial infections not viruses. Since colds are viruses, antibiotics are not an effective treatment.
Since there's no cure for the common cold, your best defense is a good offense. Build a strong healthy immune system.
By eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest, exercising and reducing stress, and whenever possible stay away from people with colds as well eliminates your risk of getting colds in the long-term.
This entry last modified on: February 4, 2013 3:14 PM
About the Video
Can you catch a cold from going outside with a wet head? For how many days is a cold contagious? Test your knowledge of the common cold with our Everwell Challenge.