How To Prevent And Fight A Cold

By Shelby Lin

(CNN) - Isn't it interesting we get colds when it gets cold? Do the chilly temps really affect our immune systems? Doctors say, nope. There are 200 viruses that can cause a cold, the rhinovirus is the most common. And they're everywhere, year round.

Experts say during the winter months, people stay indoors, and germs are more easily spread because people are in close quarters.

So how can you avoid the fever, runny nose and sore throat that a cold can bring? It may sound simple, but washing your hands thoroughly gets rid of the germs that can be transferred to other parts of your body, especially if you touch your nose or mouth.

And stay away from cramped quarters.

If you are sick, stay home and don't infect those around you. These germs are very contagious.

As for treatment, doctors say over-the-counter meds relieve symptoms. Keep away from the antibiotics, because a cold is a virus, and antibiotics don't kill viruses. Doctors say bed rest, liquids and T.L.C. are the best ways to get rid of the common cold.

Although most colds are pretty mild, know when a cold can become a problem. Go to the doctor if you have a high fever: over 100.4 for a child, or over 103 degrees for an adult.

Also, if your symptoms last longer than 10 days or are accompanied with neck stiffness and pain, it could mean you have a serious viral infection.

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