Take steps to fight colds this winter

Letters to the Editor (The Truro Daily News)
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Every year the common cold prevents thousands of Nova Scotians from attending school, work and social functions. There is no cure for the common cold but there are ways to prevent catching and spreading the virus.
Colds are caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and chest. There are more than 200 known viruses that cause cold symptoms. An individual can catch a common cold through touching infected surfaces such as doorknobs or phones and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose.
Colds usually last for seven to 14 days, with the worst symptoms lasting three to five. Cold symptoms include runny nose, congestion and/or sneezing, sore throat, cough, headache, generalized fatigue and body aches, and mild fever.
To help prevent a cold, individuals should eat well, exercise regularly, reduce stress and get adequate sleep. Individuals should avoid smoking and smoke-filled areas as well as closed crowded areas with poor ventilation. The best defence against catching a cold is handwashing. Individuals should wash their hands frequently and avoid hand/face contact.
By following these points an individual can increase their chances of having a cold free winter.
Don Pugsley, MD
Doctors Nova Scotia

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