Mother Earth Living

Winter Colds: Break the Chain of Transmission

Herbal prevention and treatment that’s safe and effective.
By Michael Castleman
December/January 2009
Add to My MSN

One way to break the chain of cold transmission is to retire cloth hankies. Cold virus can survive several hours in them, contaminating fingers every time you use them. Switch to disposable tissues.


Content Tools

Related Content

How To Treat Cold Conditions Naturally: Healing Recipe

Treat cold symptoms naturally with herbs.

Cold-Process Soap Making

Try cold-process soap making and create all-natural soap bars to pamper your family and friends.

Best Herbs for the Common Cold: Cold Season Tea

You'll want to have this cold season tea on hand throughout fall and winter.

In The News: Fry Foods with Healthy Fats and Oils for Better Health

A study has found that healthy fats and oils may make fried foods better for you.

Colds spread in two ways—through the air and by direct contact. When cold sufferers exhale, cough or sneeze, they spew virus particles into the air. The uninfected inhale them and, literally, catch the cold. “Direct contact” means transmission from the fingers to the nose. People subconsciously touch their noses several times an hour. When you have a cold, nose-touching contaminates fingers with the virus. If you touch other peoples’ hands or hard surfaces—doorknobs, telephones, etc.—you deposit a virus that can survive for hours. The uninfected pick it up on their fingertips, touch their noses, and get infected. Read the main article: Preventing and Treating Winter Colds.

How to Break the Chain of Cold Transmission

• If you’re sick, call in sick. Going to work, school or other activities increases risk for everyone around you. Stay home for a day or two. 

• Avoid cold sufferers. If they’re family, this may be difficult. But keeping your distance reduces risk.

• Wash your hands. This prevents direct-contact transmission. At one daycare center, Purdue researchers taught children to wash their hands often to prevent colds. Children at another center received no such instruction. The hand-washing youngsters caught significantly fewer colds.

• Keep your fingers away from your nose.

• Cover your mouth. This limits the number of virus particles you release into the air. The preferable method nowadays is to cough into your elbow, not your hands.
 
• Use disinfectants, which kill viruses on everyday surfaces. University of Ottawa researchers contaminated counters with cold virus, then sprayed the counters with Lysol or bleach. Both treatments killed 99.7 percent of the cold viruses.
 
• Retire cloth hankies. Cold virus can survive several hours in them, contaminating fingers every time you use them. Switch to disposable tissues.


San Francisco health writer Michael Castleman is the author of 11 consumer health books. Visit mcastleman.com.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.