Colds and Their Reign of Terror


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Its that time of year again. I'm pretty sure we've heard the echoes of coughs, sneezes, and sniffing throughout various lecture halls. We try to take as much precaution as we can, but somehow we still end up catching that annoying cold. But is there something out there that can prevent, or even cure the common cold? 
Since I'm battling the bug now, I found it appropriate to do some research on what the hell is going on with my body and how to fight it. I've known for quite some time now that colds aren't a bacterial infection, but a viral one. That being said, antibiotics won't do anything to help (thank you high school biology). I also read an article in USA Today that there basically is no cure. Your body just has to fight it off. And the symptoms that you're suffering from the cold are actually from your body fighting the virus, not from the virus itself.
Since you have to suffer through colds there are some things that can make it bearable. However, they aren't scientifically proven to do much or shorten the duration of a cold. A lot of cold remedies work due to a placebo effect. Personally, I just take some cough drops and sleep with breathe right strips (probably placebo effect, but it works for me). So before you go and spend a lot of money on something that says it shortens or cures colds, save your money because it probably won't work.As for preventing a cold the best solution is to wash your hands frequently, and try not to touch your face so much (viruses enter through the nose, mouth, and eyes). Break out a new toothbrush after you get over a cold and wash your pillowcase and sheets. You don't have to be OCD about it, but the cleaner everything is the less likely you are to get sick.
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2 Comments

This was very interesting to me because I never knew colds were viral and could not be treated by antibiotics. I have an annoying cold as well right now and spent a pointless hour in the doctor's office today just to have them tell me to keep up with what I have been doing - taking cough medicine, eating cough drops and drinking hot tea. :/ I hope you feel better!

How interesting because now-a-days cold medicine can run up to $25.99 per box! (http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/mucinex/ID=301399-brand) And you're even limited to how many boxes you can buy since pharmacies are now scanning your drivers license to keep track! I suppose all those mad theories on "pharmaceutical companies" and their profits are true. As for the placebo effect, I cannot offer much insight as I am an avid believer in its power. Placebo effects and keeping faith go hand in hand. Thanks for the article! It was very enlightning.

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