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Winter and the Common Cold

Winter and the Common Cold

Winter and the Common Cold

Common colds are caused by infectious agents called viruses. The viruses that cause colds are in droplets and are spread by sneezing, coughing and hand contact.

It is well known that colds are more common in the winter months. Cold weather by itself does not increase the chance of getting a cold. People are in closer contact with each other at this time of year, because they stay indoors, and so are more likely to infect each other.

Common cold symptoms include sneezing, coughing, a sore throat and a blocked or runny nose. If fever is present, it is usually mild. Most common colds get better in 7 to 10 days, although the cough may last 1-2 weeks longer than other symptoms. Green or yellow mucus may come from the nose which shows that the immune system is fighting the infection. It does not necessarily mean that your cold is getting worse or that you have a bacterial infection and need antibiotics.

Follow these simple steps to avoid catching or spreading a cold this winter

  • Practise preventative measures: wash your hands with soap, especially after blowing your nose, coughing and sneezing or when eating or preparing food.
  • Keep your fingers away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing.
  • Blow your nose on paper tissues and dispose of them after use.
  • Avoid sharing cups, glasses and cutlery.
  • Avoid close contact with cold sufferers.

Help your immune system: get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. For congestion you can try a steam inhalation of a capful of Melrose True Blue Eucalyptus oil in warm water or you can try the Olbas range of Pastilles, Olbas Oil and Olbas inhalers which can also help with the symptoms of a cold; like a sore throat, a runny nose and may relieve blocked sinuses. For sore throats, you can also gargle with warm, salty water or suck an ice cube or throat lozenge like the Olbas pastilles. You can also use Melrose the Good Oil Tea Tree Oil as a natural anti bacterial and if all else fails Paracetamol may ease a headache or the pain of a sore throat.

Common colds require common sense and do not usually require a visit to your GP. If in doubt you can simply ask a Health Food store Naturopath or a Pharmacist for more information

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