How to prevent catching a cold

Colds are all too common this time of year, but a new report from the Canadian Medical Association contains tips on how people can fight back.



The researchers looked at results from 67 trials, and found that good, old-fashioned hand washing may be the best way to prevent catching a cold. Studies in children found that those taking zinc had fewer colds than other kids. The researchers say that adults may benefit as well.



Probiotics may be helpful to ward off colds, but Vitamin C, the "gold standard" of cold fighters, did not seem to help the average patient, nor did echinacea.



So what helps if you do get sick? Medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen help relieve the aches and pains, but they will not make the cold go away any quicker. Almost all colds are caused by viruses, so taking antibiotics is not recommended.



Cold symptoms usually go away in about seven to 10 ndays. If you aren't getting relief by then, see your doctor because it may be more than a cold.


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