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WINTER HEALTH: DR MARK PORTER'S GUIDE TO EVERYTHING YOU EVER NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT...COLDS.

Byline: DR MARK PORTER

Adults can expect to get up to two colds in a typical year, and young children, as many as 10. The 200 or so viruses responsible for colds are mainly spread through coughing and sneezing - a single sneeze produces hundreds of millions of virus-laden droplets which can hang in the air for up to 20 minutes waiting for the next victim to breathe them in.

Don't book to see your GP - you will only spread your cold to everyone in the waiting room. Colds are responsible for 750,000 GP consultations a year, but there's nothing we can do to help. Antibiotics have no effect (unless you have a secondary infection). Researchers are working on a cold cure, and there is at least one promising drug in the pipeline, but don't hold your breath.

There might not be an effective cure for the cold, but you can buy remedies to ease your symptoms. Ask your pharmacist to advise on the best product for your needs.

If you have a blocked nose avoid combination remedies, go for a decongestant nasal spray and take separate paracetamol for any accompanying aches and pains. It will work better and save you a fortune.

If you get a sore nose from blowing it all the time put a little Vaseline around your nostrils morning and night.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 11, 2001
Words:225
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