Photo: Getty Images
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of the National Institutes of Health, more than one billion colds are suffered annually in the United States. That is a lot of Kleenex.
As of today, a cure for the common cold does not exist. However, the NIH recommends the following to relieve your cold:
• Use cough drops or throat sprays
• Hydrate by drinking plenty of fluids (water, Gatorade, orange juice, chicken broth, etc.)
• Sleep and rest
• Gargle with warm salt water
• Take over-the-counter pain or cold medicines
The NIH makes a very important note of not giving aspirin to children or cough medicine to anyone under the age of four.
You may need to take the above for 2-14 days. While most colds only hang around for one week, they can last as long as two weeks. After you have been infected with a cold, your cold symptoms begin in 48 to 72 hours.
At the two-to-three-day mark of a cold, a person is most contagious. You can catch these cold germs by inhaling them, touching your nose or eyes after you rub against any areas that have the cold germs.
For example, if a hand railing or cell phone has active germs, you can catch a cold by touching theses surfaces.
Symptoms of a cold include:
• Fever in children
• Decreased appetite
• Nasal congestion
• Sore throat
• Runny nose
• Postnasal drip
• Scratchy throat
• Muscle aches
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, here are some things you can do to lower your risk for a cold:
• Wash your hands after you have been around some who has a cold.
• Wash your hands after nose-wiping, diapering and using the bathroom.
• Wash your hand before you prepare food.
• Staying away from people with colds .
• Use paper towels instead of sharing cloth towels.
• Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces (such as sink handles, door knobs, and sleeping mats) with an EPA-approved disinfectant.
• Choose smaller daycare classes.
• Attend a day care where there are six or fewer children dramatically reduces the spread of germs.
• Use instant hand sanitizers. These products use alcohol to destroy germs.