Friday, October 06, 2006

Colds: Research Shows Why They're Common

tidbits that tantalize

...I Dare You.

Researchers have dealt yet another blow to the myth of the spotless hotel room. (Well, OK - it was more like the semi-tolerable, partially disinfected hotel room - but, a blow nevertheless) In their zeal to study common cold germs, they enlisted 15 contagious people and checked them into a hotel. Their job? Muck up the place a bit - talk on the phone, touch stuff, sniffle, cough, wheeze...

"Excuse me. I'd like an earlier checkout please."

The results? As expected, the afflicted left infection. The study showed rhinoviruses, responsible for the common cold, continue to thrive long after initial contact. After being left on door handles, phones and switches, the virus is still transmissible in 60% of the cases after a one-hour lapse. After a full 24 hours have elapsed, the virus is still being passed on 33% of the time.

What can we do to protect ourselves? Well, very little from coming into contact with the virus. But, with a little care, we can trim the odds we'll be reaching for the chicken soup and tissues. The best protection we can offer ourselves in this high-tech age? The same as it was 100 years ago: Wash Your Hands.

To read more about the study, see this summary by the University of Virginia Health System. For other tips on avoiding the common cold, see Welcome to Common Cold.


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