What is the common cold?
The most common cold is called the rhinovirus and makes up roughly 50% of annual illnesses in a regular year. It is transmitted through tiny particles in the air going onto transferable surfaces or another person. Once this germ has reached a person’s mouth or eyes, they can become infected by the virus. After that, your body will send white blood cells to attack the invader and work overtime to heal you. Unless you’ve come into contact with the same cold strain before, it’s unlikely your body will be able to do its part without you exhibiting symptoms. Some of these symptoms are a sore throat, a runny nose, and tiredness.
Why are some seasons considered cold seasons?
In northern America, most people associate the common cold season with October and other winter months until April. But why are we so prone to getting the virus then? The most obvious answer is that the temperature and humidity levels drop around those months, which can cause the common cold virus to spread.
Several other factors play into the spread of the virus during the “cold season”:
- Being stuck inside in close contact with others. Let’s face it, no one wants to go outside once it gets too gloomy, and being close to others creates the perfect environment for transference.
- Children go back to school around this time and are in close contact with other kids. I don’t know about your kids, but too often, I’ll hear stories about some less than palatable hygienic habits from their classmates.
- The dry weather can make you more susceptible to the virus. Areas such as dry nasal areas become breeding grounds for the virus.
How to avoid a cold during the cold season?
Wash your hands regularly
Using antibacterial soaps can help with getting rid of the germs you’ve touched all day long. My favorite is Papilions’s Antibacterial Soap. It avoids those harsh ingredients that can be harmful to you, such as triclosan, parabens, and phthalates. Just like any other soap, you should lather your hands in water, add the antibacterial soap, scrub for 10 seconds, rinse, and dry.
Sneeze into a tissue
The common cold can be transmitted through tiny droplets in the air from coughing or sneezing. If your family already has the virus, they can take preventive measures so you don’t get it as well. The Center for Disease suggests (CDC) recommends sneezing into a tissue and throwing it away immediately. If you don’t have a tissue, you can also sneeze into your elbow.
Fun fact: A recent study found that having a long sleeve shirt on while sneezing into your arm can grossly reduce the spread of the virus when compared to sneezing into an arm with no sleeve.
Avoid people that are sick
Avoiding someone sick can be hard when your kids are sick, but if they are, make sure they stay at home so they don’t affect others. If you notice your co-worker has come into work sick, suggest that they take the day off to rest up. Whenever, wherever, keep your distance from anyone already ill.
Get a humidifier
As mentioned above, the drop in humidity can cause your nostrils to dry out and make it more likely for you to become sick. An easy fix for this in your house is a humidifier. There are many options out there.
Do you have any other ways you like to stay safe during the cold season? Send us a message on Instagram @papilionusa and let us know!