Every year, an epidemic of the cold and flu viruses hits the Colorado School of Mines Campus. When devastated by such illnesses, the best idea is to feel as good as possible so as to avoid missing any class because of the illness. Simply put, this school is hard enough without being sick.
The first step to being healthy and not being sick is prevention. Taking substances like Emergen-C and using Purell hand sanitizer help prevent the spread of the cold and flu and they can help prevent the user from getting sick. The second step to preventing illness is to keep hands away from mouth and eyes. Biting fingernails and overly rubbing eyes can cause the virus to get inside your body. Bathing every day and washing hands after using the restroom are also great ways to prevent becoming ill. For those who are sick already, these prevention steps may be virtually useless, but they should perform these steps to prevent anyone else from getting sick with the illness that they have.
Depending upon the seriousness of the symptoms, many methods have been proven to work to help the sufferer feel better. Sore throats can make breathing feel like a terrible task. A good remedy for this is to gargle with salt water. If congestion is an issue, the best options are to either have some chicken noodle soup or warm lemon water with honey. Studies on chicken noodle soup have proven that it helps to relieve congestion and it also acts as an anti-inflammatory that suppresses the body’s inflammatory process, which can make the sufferer feel even worse.
Unfortunately, some medicines actually do more damage than they do good. Taking things like Zinc and anti-biotics have had mixed results in labs. Zinc was once taken to shorten the length of a cold, but after much testing, it has been proven that Zinc actually causes temporary and sometimes permanent nose death (anosmia). This means that the nose becomes unable to smell. Anti-biotics, on the other hand, do nothing to kill viruses. Taking anti-biotics in an attempt to combat a virus can wipe out any bacteria in the body attacking the offending virus. This actually increases the effects of the virus.
While taking Vitamin C has been proven to reduce the time that symptoms are present in someone who has a cold, it appears to have no effect on someone who is trying to prevent colds. In short, the best possible choices for those who are ill are to get rest, wash or sanitize hands, drink plenty of fluids, and keep the air moist and warm.
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