Busting Common Cold Myths

We've all be brainwashed by our mothers growing up about what to do and not do when it comes to preventing colds. But is their advice even true? Dr. Ali Zentner helps bust the most common cold myths!

Busting Common Cold Myths

Myth 1: When you have a cold, you should sweat it out

Reality: We have all done it - or at least seen others do it: covering up with extra blankets or sticking your head over a bowl of hot water, all in the hopes that we'll sweat the cold out. Unfortunately, this does not work - it is completely ineffective. The only benefit this may have is to make you feel a little better.

Myth 2: The flu shot makes you catch the flu

Reality: There is a big misconception that the flu shot contains a weakened form of the flu virus. The vaccine actually includes only components of the virus from last season, and not a complete version of it. Therefore, you won't catch the flu.

Myth 3: Taking vitamin C will stop a cold in its tracks

Reality: Researchers found no reduction in the incidence of common colds from those who take vitamin C. Vitamin C did reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms slightly, but the effect was so small that it's deemed clinically insignificant.

Myth 4: The common saying 'Starve a fever, feed a cold'

Reality: Most people have heard the phrase "starve a fever, feed a cold." This common saying is untrue. In fact food provides the body with fuel to cope with illness - so when we're sick, it's a good idea to eat healthy and well. I recommend a good bowl of chicken soup for a start.

Myth 5: Going outdoors with wet hair will make you catch a cold

Reality: You'll probably feel chilly if you skip the blow-dry on a cold day, but not much else will happen. Colds are caused by a virus. Unless you are so cold that you get hypothermia, which could make you susceptible to infection, wet hair or clothes won't increase your vulnerability.

Myth 6: The most common time to catch a cold is during the winter

Reality: Most colds are caught in the spring and fall seasons and not winter at all. This is because the virus becomes much more active in those seasons and seems to become largely dormant in the winter.

 

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