The common cold is not as simple as it may seem. Test your knowledge with our cold quiz.
Question 1 of 6
Bacteria causes colds.
... Colds occur from viruses, not bacteria. Therefore, antibiotics will not relieve cold symptoms since they cannot kill viruses. The most common of the cold-causing viruses is the rhinovirus, but there are over 200 viruses that can cause colds. The use of antibiotics may become necessary if the cold causes a secondary bacterial infection such as in the ear or sinuses.
Question 2 of 6
Exposure to extreme cold weather can cause a cold.
... Research shows that exposure to extreme cold weather has little or no effect on the development or severity of a cold. However, the seasonal change may prompt people to spend more time indoors, increasing the chance that viruses will spread from person to person, thus causing colds. Also, the most common cold viruses survive better in low humidity during the colder months of the year. Cold weather can also cause the nasal passages' lining to become drier, making them more vulnerable to viral infection.
Question 3 of 6
Taking lots of vitamin C can prevent a cold.
... According to the National Institutes of Health, there is no conclusive evidence from any study that supports the notion that taking large doses of vitamin C prevents colds. The vitamin may reduce the severity or duration of some symptoms, but there is no conclusive evidence to that effect. Additionally, large doses of vitamin C can be harmful, causing severe diarrhea in the elderly and small children.
Question 4 of 6
Washing your hands can prevent colds.
Keeping your hands washed and away from you face is one of the best ways to prevent the common cold. That is because most colds are caused by rhinoviruses that concentrate in nasal passages and, during a cold, our hands often come in contact with our noses!
You should always sneeze or cough into a facial tissue, promptly throw it away and wash your hands. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be effective when soap and water are not available. But sanitizers should not be used as a substitute for a good scrub!
Rhinoviruses can live up to three hours outside nasal passages; that means on your hands and other parts of your body. The same is true if the virus lands on inanimate objects, so cleaning affected surfaces with virus-killing disinfectant can help prevent the cold from spreading.
Question 5 of 6
Taking remedies such as zinc lozenges and echinacea will prevent a cold.
According to the National Lung Association, there is no significant clinical evidence that herbal remedies like zinc lozenges or echinacea are effective in cold prevention. However, some recent studies have concluded that zinc lozenges may help reduce the duration of a cold. Echinacea's ability to shorten the length of colds is still not proven in any conclusive studies. However, it has been found to stimulate the immune system and help white blood cells fight off infection.
Echinacea is made from the purple coneflower and is sold over the counter in pharmacies and health food stores. Zinc is a bluish-white metallic element found in minerals. The lozenge form is available in most drug stores.
Question 6 of 6
Drinking lots of fluids will help get rid of a cold.
... It is important to keep your body well-hydrated during a cold. You should drink adequate amounts of liquids, such as water or juice. A dehydrated or water-starved-body will cause the lining of the nose and throat to dry out. Lots of liquid will insure that the mucus stays moist and continues to flow out of the body. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol (including hot toddys) since they can lead to dehydration.
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