- The old saying tells us to "feed a cold and starve a fever."
Or is it the other way around?
really doesn't matter because, although medical experts have been
looking for years to find a cure for the flu and common cold, that
search is still in progress. Thus, prevention becomes the key to
surviving both ailments. Acting Commissioner of the Department of
Health and Senior Services Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. offers these suggestions
to avoid catching a cold or the flu:
hands often. Washing with soap and water removes viruses and decreases
the chance of spreading cold and flu viruses.
close contact with anyone suffering from a cold. Cold viruses
easily spread from the hands of someone who is ill to the eyes,
nose and hands of someone who is not. Cold viruses are also easily
spread through sneezing.
used tissues right away. They are active carriers of cold and
and bathroom counter tops clean, especially when someone in your
family has a cold.
make sure the air is not too dry. Open a window if you can. Dry
nasal passages are more vulnerable to the cold virus.
Those who smoke are more susceptible to colds and other respiratory
a cold, influenza is spread through close contact with someone who
is infected. Tips for avoiding colds are also effective in avoiding
flu. If you do get such a virus, here are things you can do to feel
better while it lasts:
of rest -- as much as 12 hours or more a night.
liquids -- to keep mucus thin and easy to clear.
acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve headache, muscle ache and
fever, as per physician and product labeling recommendations.
Over-the-counter cold medications can offer temporary relief for
nasal congestion and sore throat. There are also prescription-only
medications that can relieve flu symptoms.
give aspirin to a child younger than 16 without a doctor's advice,
and don't give cold medications to children less than 6 years
more information on the flu, see the Department of Health and Senior
Services website (www.state.nj.us/health.)
The site includes an influenza fact sheet, a list of New Jersey
flu clinics and a weekly update of flu activity as reported by schools,
nursing homes and hospitals as well as information on other health-related