Coughs, colds, aching limbs: colds are annoying and time-consuming. Those who want to avoid antibiotics can only wait and take it easy. Better get active in advance, and prevent the common cold.
Protection against colds: Those who know the risk of infection can protect themselves.
When you feel the first signs of a flu-like infection, viruses have managed to penetrate your upper respiratory tract. There they have settled and multiplied in the cells of the mucosa. The common cold – an infection of the upper respiratory tract – spreads. Cold viruses are transmitted either through surface contact (smear infection) or through the air (droplet infection). Dreaded classics are door handles in public places or a sneezing fit where the affected person does not put his hand over his mouth and nose. The good news: If you know the infection routes, you can prevent it with simple measures!
- Don’t get closer to sick people than you have to and turn away if someone coughs or sneezes. Droplet infection is named for a reason. Viruses emitted during coughing and sneezing fly relatively far. And, as harsh as it sounds: It is better to refrain from shaking hands, kissing and other forms of affection when dealing with the sick.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap. This will help you get rid of pathogens left by others on doorknobs or frequently used objects. Avoid used towels when drying off! By the way, disinfectants are not necessary for “decontamination”.
- It is better not to touch your own nose. Whether consciously or unconsciously, touching your face transports pathogens from your hands directly into the vicinity of your respiratory tract.
Why is the common cold actually called the common cold?
Don’t worry: just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you’ll get sick. Flu infections strike even in the middle of summer. However, hypothermia can weaken the immune system. And: cold mucous membranes are not up to their task – flushing out viruses. These then have an easier game.