Interesting facts about the common cold

  1. Most grown-ups have two to four colds a year; children can easily get six to 10.
  2. More than 200 viruses are responsible for the cold. The most common are called human rhinoviruses (HRV), and are the little monsters that cause up to 40 percent of all colds.
  3. There are around 100 known serotypes of HRV, meaning that a vaccine cannot be made … and that we have the potential to be infected around 100 times by this virus alone. Plus, mutations cause a thus-far eternal number of new strains of the virus
  4. Rhinoviruses survive for three hours outside of the body, and can sometimes live for up to 48 hours on touchable surfaces, including everything from door knobs and subway poles to shopping carts and light switches.
  5. A single cold virus can have 16 million offspring within the course of a day.
  6. Colds are spread by touching infected surface and then touching your nose or eyes, and to a lesser extent the mouth; or inhaling virus-harbouring droplets in the air after an infected person sneezes or coughs.
  7. While a person’s breath can travel one meter per second, droplets from a sneeze can travel at about 160 kilometres per hour.
  8. The droplets from a sneeze can spread for a distance of two meters.
  9. A single sneeze can spray 100,000 germs into the air … which is why you should keep 2 meters distance from a sneezing sick person.
  10. People are thought to be most contagious when symptoms are at their worst; however they can also infect others even before symptoms develop.
  11. The lower the humidity, the more moisture evaporates from sneeze and cough droplets, and the further the germs can travel. Dry air also dries out the mucous lining in our nasal passages, weakening an important protective barrier. Both of these contribute to the increase in colds during cold, dry weather.
  12. Vitamin C won’t cure a cold. But, according to latest scientific research taking at least 0.2 grams of vitamin C every day may decrease the duration of a cold by a day or two.
  13. The single best way to avoid getting a cold, aside from becoming a hermit, is to wash your hands. A lot. Use soap and wash them in water for 20 seconds. It’s cheap and easy and more effective than alcohol-based hand sanitizers; but if you don’t have soap and water, sanitizers will do the job too.