Oct 9, 2012

Flu Season

It is that time of year again when the flu bugs invade and many people get the flu or a cold. Most viruses last a week or less, while others last for weeks. There is no cure, due to the many varieties of viruses.

The name “common cold” came into use in the 1500s, because its symptoms seemed to appear in cold weather. Of course, we now know that a common cold is not limited to cold weather. It seems more prevalent, because people spend more time indoors in close proximity to each other and sharing the virus.

Good news, kissing reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, thereby lowering blood pressure and optimizing immune response. Also, kissing a person with a cold will not cause you to catch it. The quantity of virus on the lips and mouth are miniscule.

Zinc, echinacea, vitamin C, garlic, eucalyptus, honey, lemon, menthol, steam, hot toddies, alcohol, Zicam, chicken soup, and many other “cures” have been repeatedly tested and have been scientifically proven to not prevent or shorten the duration of a cold. At best they provide some physical relief.

Flu shots are designed to prevent the most common types of virus. Most are effective for only those types.

Antibiotics do not cure a cold as they work on bacteria and most colds are caused by virus. However, if it is bacterial, such as half of pneumonia strains, it does help. Bacterial pneumonia usually comes on suddenly and viral types take some time to develop.