04 April 2005

Preventing Colds

It was a terrible cold that put me out of commission last week. Runny nose, watery eyes, high fever, headaches, frequent sneezing, occasional coughing, and extreme lethargy kept me inside the house and in my bed most of the time. Since misery loves company, I felt I wasn't alone as I've heard news of friends and a fellow blogger who, I suspect, were also unsuspecting victims of the cold virus I got.

Occasional checking of this blog brought my attention to my tagboard (see the left panel of this webpage) which had a query from a certain reader calling himself "Cris," who asked why his 1-year old child continued to have cold symptoms in spite of being given "antibiotics."

Here's my answer: Cris, colds are caused by viruses. All viral illnesses are self-limiting, which means that given enough time, the body can mount a successful antibody response to thwart the viruses' ill effects. Antibiotics, therefore, are seldom needed, have little or no value in the treatment process, and should only be used when a bacterial infection has been diagnosed concurrently with the viral infection. This wanton use and and prescription of antibiotics had spawned nothing but bigger problems like antibiotic resistance and more bacterial mutation.

Be careful guys.

The sudden change in weather here is also contributing to the spread of more colds.

If you catch the cold, stay home, rest, and drink soup or orange juice.

Always remember to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.

Wash hands frequently and thoroughly.

More ways to prevent the common cold here.

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