Myths about Colds

December 29, 2012
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  • Colds are caused by cold weather.
  • You can catch a cold by going outside with wet hair or damp clothes. No, but being wet can weaken your immune system, which makes it more likely that you can catch a cold.
  • The best cure is vitamin C. No, there’s no proof that vitamin C helps, but vitamins C and B-12 have fans among medical professionals, and they can’t hurt.
  • You should rush to the doctor at the first symptom for antibiotics. No, antibiotics can only kill bacteria in a bacterial infection; a cold is a viral infection f
    • Colds are caused by cold weather.
    • You can catch a cold by going outside with wet hair or damp clothes. No, but being wet can weaken your immune system, which makes it more likely that you can catch a cold.
    • The best cure is vitamin C. No, there’s no proof that vitamin C helps, but vitamins C and B-12 have fans among medical professionals, and they can’t hurt.
    • You should rush to the doctor at the first symptom for antibiotics. No, antibiotics can only kill bacteria in a bacterial infection; a cold is a viral infection for which there is no cure.
    • The flu is just a big cold — wait it out. No, the flu is a virus, as the cold is, but you should seek treatment right away as the flu has the potential to be life threatening.
    • Scientists are close to finding a cure for the common cold. No, it’s impractical to look for a cure when the viruses that cause colds are constantly changing.

    Nancy Churnin from The Dallas Morning News.