Prevention of Common cold


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Prevention list: Methods of prevention of Common cold mentioned in various sources includes those listed below. This prevention information is gathered from various sources, and may be inaccurate or incomplete. None of these methods guarantee prevention of Common cold.

  • Avoid exposure to people with colds
  • Handwashing
  • Avoid touching eyes or nose with your hands
  • Cleaning with disinfectant - on surfaces that may be contagious.

Prevention of Common cold: Handwashing is the simplest and most effective way to keep from getting rhinovirus colds. Not touching the nose or eyes is another. Individuals with colds should always sneeze or cough into a facial tissue, and promptly throw it away. If possible, one should avoid close, prolonged exposure to persons who have colds.

Because rhinoviruses can survive up to three hours outside the nasal passages on inanimate objects and skin, cleaning environmental surfaces with a virus-killing disinfectant might help prevent spread of infection.

A cold vaccine? The development of a vaccine that could prevent the common cold has reached an impasse because of the discovery of many different cold viruses. Each virus carries its own specific antigens, substances that induce the formation of specific protective proteins (antibodies) produced by the body. Until ways are found to combine many viral antigens in one vaccine, or take advantage of the antigenic cross-relationships that exist, prospects for a vaccine are dim. Evidence that changes occur in common-cold virus antigens further complicate development of a vaccine. Such changes occur in some influenza virus antigens and make it necessary to alter the influenza vaccine each year. 1

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from The Common Cold, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID

Last revision: May 26, 2003

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