Wrap up when you go out, remembering to keep hands, head and
nose warm - and get as much sunlight as you can.

Did you know more than 200 different viruses produce common
cold symptoms. Once a virus enters the nose in mucus that has come from an
infected person - often through a sneeze or from hand contact - it multiplies,
killing local cells. A watery fluid is produced to wash these out of the nose
and throat. As the body's white cells fight infection, they release chemicals
called cytokines that cause fever, tiredness and loss of appetite.

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Most colds last 4-14 days.

Adults suffer an average of two to five a year and children
seven to 10 a year. But because we produce antibodies each time we have a cold,
we get fewer as we grow older. And you are more likely to pick up a cold if you
are stressed.

What's an active girl on the go to do?

Eat well and sleep well to boost your immune system.

Wash hands regularly to prevent the spread of infection.

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Cooling of the nose may reduce our resistance to infection. Therefore, wearing a scarf across the
nose and mouth in cold weather may offer some protection.

Rest up and drink plenty - hot water with lemon juice and
honey is a good soother.

According to the Common Cold Centre, paracetamol, ibuprofen
and aspirin are equally effective in controlling painful cold symptoms. For
blocked noses, the centre suggests that a nasal spray containing xylometazoline or oxymetazoline is likely to be more effective than an oral decongestant,
especially at night.

Some swear that taking one to two grams of vitamin C daily
at the start of a cold can shorten its duration. Research suggests that zinc
lozenges may have the same effect. There is some evidence that echinacea
stimulates the activity of white blood cells, thus boosting the immune system.
For blocked noses, inhale tea tree or eucalyptus oil.

What do I think works? Wash your hands.


What do you think?