Monday, October 20, 2008

The Common Cold


Why do they call it the "common cold" when there is really nothing common about it? Millions of people suffer daily from what is defined as "a highly contagious, viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory system." Is it defined as common because once afflicted with the disease or infection we become walking contaminant germ hosts, depositing these highly contagious spores on all those we come in contact with? Or is it common because regardless of color, nationality, political status, social status and gender, we are all susceptible to the illness? Bottom line: When you have a cold you never feel quite "common". In fact, just the opposite is true when you have a cold, you end up feeling abnormal, irregular and just plain crappy; uncommon.
Since I am feeling abnormal, irregular and just plain crappy right now I did a little research on the Common Cold and here's what I found:
  • According to the NIAID- people in the US suffer one billion colds a year.
  • The CDC estimates that 22 million school days are lost annually in the US due to the common cold.
  • The most common cold causing viruses survive better when the humidity is low-the colder months of the year.
  • A cold virus is usually deposited into the nasal passages through contaminated fingers or by droplets from coughs or sneezes.
  • The time from the beginning of the infection to the peak of the symptoms is typically 36-72 hours.
  • Adults average 2-3 colds a year while children average 6-10 colds.

Looks like I am in good company. Me and the common folk. The CDC recommends that the best form of prevention is vigilant hand washing to keep the cold virus from entering the nose. The virus is removed by the mechanical action of washing and they also recommend daily doses of vitamin C and other immune boosting agents to combat against the infection. All great advice but not much help to me now. Looks like for the next 24 hours I will resign to being common-eating common chicken soup, taking common aspirin, drinking common orange juice and resting in my common home looking forward to the time when I can resume my UNcommon life because I really hate being common.

4 comments:

Piece o' Coconut Cake said...

Ugh! Don't forget to wipe down your keyboard-and everything else that you touch...

A said...

I hope you feel better soon, Miss Candy!

LYDIA said...

I hope you get feeling better - my husband is ill too. I should probably start taking a whole crap load of Emer-gen-C!

Joe D. said...

Colds suck but allergies are far worse. March through July is hell for me.