News / Health

    Think You Know All About the Common Cold? Think Again

    According to medical experts, it is normal for young children to catch cold four to five times a year
    According to medical experts, it is normal for young children to catch cold four to five times a year

    Multimedia

    Ayesha Khalid

    Do you believe cold temperatures can cause cold?  Do you think it’s a bad idea to give milk to a child who has a cold? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, then this report is for you.

    Cold weather and colds are so closely linked in our minds that it’s usually hard to tell which came first.

    Ben Hemmens is the father of three children, including four-year-old Sophie.  According to medical experts, it is normal for kids around this age to catch cold four to five times a year. In adults, the ratio is about two or three times a year.  

    Still, says Dr. Ranit Mishori, of Georgetown University Hospital, many people believe it’s possible to become immune to colds.  Unfortunately, she says, that’s not the case. “There are about 200 different viruses that cause the common cold and people think that once you get infected one time you develop immunity for the rest of your life. This is wrong,” she said.

    There are many other common beliefs about colds that medical science does not support.

    How many of us believe the main cause of the common cold is exposure to cold temperatures? Even some studies have shown that people get sick more frequently during the winter.

    But Dr. Mishori says it is not because of the cold weather. “It’s because people tend to congregate and be together and the way the common cold virus is transmitted from one person to another is through handshake, through sneezing, or through coughing on one another."

    While there is no actual cure for the common cold, Dr. Mishori says there are still a few things you can do to help reduce its duration and intensity.

    Though the medical community says Vitamin C does not help prevent colds, there is definitely some proof that it helps keep them from being as bad.

    “So if you catch a cold and on day one you start taking about two grams of Vitamin C a day there is evidence that it might shorten the number of days that you will be suffering with these symptoms,” Dr. Mishori stated.

    In addition, medical science says honey and chicken soup are effective against colds.  Especially honey.  “There is increased evidence that it helps shorten the duration of the common cold sometimes even by two to three days particularly in children,” Dr. Mishori said. “Chicken soup has anti inflammatory properties so it helps reduce the duration of the cold but it also helps clear the mucus.”

    There’s also a common belief that you should “feed a cold and starve a fever.”  Dr Mishori says… not necessarily.” “If you do have a cold and you don’t feel like eating anything it’s not going to hurt you but you have to drink a lot and you can drink water or tea anything that gets fluids into your body,” she said. “That’s very important.”

    So… if drinking fluids is a good idea …. What about milk?

    Nadine Audrey, the Hemmens kids’ grandmother, believes it’s not a good idea to give milk to a child who has a cold. “I will never give milk to a child who has got bad phlegm. My son had this problem and he will throw up when I will give him milk,” she said.

    Well, says Dr. Mishori, maybe and maybe not. “Dairy products do not cause increased secretions but they can thicken the secretions,” she explained. “It’s possible that discomfort is somewhat more enhanced but obviously if you are a baby and it’s all you drink then you should not stop giving babies milk.”

    There are many other myths about colds that do not pass scientific muster.  Doctors say the best advice is to continue using whatever works best for you.  Even if it doesn’t make the cold better, it won’t make it worse either - while you wait for the cold to just run its natural course.

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora