The common cold is not as simple as it may seem. Test your knowledge with our cold quiz.
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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
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.
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