Is the Common Cold Impossible to Prevent?June 7, 2022
Is the Common Cold Impossible to Prevent?
One aspect of our job at LACOSTA is to keep you healthy. We fight germs, bacteria and viruses on a daily basis. One of our challenges is the common cold which contributes greatly to absenteeism in the workplace.
The Common Cold Defies Scientists
The common cold has been baffling scientists and doctors alike since the invention of civilization. So how can we find effective ways to prevent colds, or at least minimize their impact?
The common cold—otherwise known as acute rhinopharyngitis, the primary infection of the upper respiratory tract—is the most frequent cause of illness in humans. The current seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against four main flu strains that research suggests will be making people sick throughout a given season. Unfortunately, however, those four strains are only responsible for 10-20% of all respiratory illnesses.
So what works?
What works is mother nature and the body you have been given. You can’t actually avoid getting sick if you’re exposed to viruses, so you shouldn’t try. But there are some steps that will make your body less likely to get sick – building immunity and personal health.
Consider this your pre-cold checklist for prevention
- Covid protocol has taught us all this first procedure: wash your hands often with warm water and soap for 20 seconds at a time. Many people report that during Covid, they have not had a cold or virus.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and encourage others to do the same.
- Get enough sleep – 8 hours if possible.
- Stay fully hydrated – aim for 64 ounces a day.
These four actions alone have been shown to reduce cold risk by about 30 percent in children and 50 percent in adults, according to Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Diet changes to boost immunity
There are some simple diet changes that could help keep colds at bay. If you’re like most people and find yourself coming down with a cold once or twice per year, cutting out sugar-laden beverages and processed foods while including more lean proteins in your diet could make all of the difference.
4 best supplements when you first start feeling sick
- Research shows that vitamin C supplements have no effect on your risk of catching a cold, but if you’re taking them before getting sick, vitamin C might reduce your symptoms if you actually get sick.
- Zinc has been shown to help reduce duration and severity of cold symptoms in adults when taken within 24 hours of onset.
- Probiotics may help boost immunity and ward off sickness by improving gut health and reducing inflammation throughout your body.
- Antioxidants = 2 servings per day of berries—blueberries, strawberries, raspberries: All berries are rich in polyphenols—natural compounds that fight disease. These include anthocyanins (which give blueberries their dark color), quercetin (found in red grapes), resveratrol (in grapes and peanuts), ellagic acid (found in pomegranates), catechins (green tea), flavonoids and kaempferol.
Fighting Colds and Flu Reduces Absenteeism
In LACOSTA’s mission to keep you healthy, we work diligently from the outside environment, and you can work on yourself from the inside out. Colds and flu are responsible for most sick days. Excessive absenteeism slows down individual performance, cooperative team projects and even in the long run career advancement. Stay healthy.