The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on November 29, 1981 · Page 11
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 11

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 29, 1981
Page 11
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PigtiaTheSdint Journal - Sunday, November 29,1961 Fact or Fiction? • Chicken noodle soup will help cure a cold. • You have a 50/50 chance of not catching a cold by kissing someone who has a cold. • $500 million a year is wasted by Americans on non-prescription cold remedies. • There is no good evidence vitamin C will help cure a cold. • You can catch a cold from a cold doorknob, • Monday is the most likely day for a cold to "bloom". • You don't get colds from the cold, only people. • There is no research underway to find a cure to the common cold. (The statements above are all fact. For reasons why, see the following story.) Got a cold? Then the question may be... To kiss or not to kiss? By PATRICIA McCORMACK _ UPI Health Editor J.s it safe to kiss when you or the kissable has a common cold? This question and others come up every year around this time when the chill winds start to blow and millions of Americans come down with common cold blahs — chills, fevers, runny noses, sore throats, coughs, congested sinuses. All these things interfere with love, life, work and studying styles — and even speech sometimes, as evidenced by people calling the office and telling the boss: "I nab a code in de hed." What about kissing and the common cold? Kissing is okay as long as the smoo- cher or smoochee has a cold caused by a rhinovirus. So says Dr. Owen Hendley, professor of pediatrics and director of infectious diseases at the University of Virginia Medical School Center, Charlottesville, Va. Hendley, a long-time grantee of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made the statement in reporting at the Canadian Hospital Infection Control Association as reported in the newsletter "Hospital Infection Control." Hendley came to this conclusion after putting rhinovirus into the eyes, nose or mouth of volunteers. It was found one virus particle could cause infection if placed in the eye or nose. But 1,000 particles would not cause an infection in the mouth. Conclusion: the rhino-type virus, which is linked to perhaps as many as half of the common colds, does not grow in the mouth and probably cannot be transmitted orally — kissing, for one. Elliott Dick, another researcher who did kissing experiments, agreed rhino viruses couldn't be passed on by a kiss. How do you know if your beloved's cold is caused by a rhinovirus? By having a culture done — before smooching. Waiting around, of course, can take a little romance out of the whole situation. A theory some years back held that a kiss generates so much heat that it kills cold germs. To date, the theory has not been proved or disproved. At the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md., experts were asked how goes the search for a vaccine against the common cold. Answer: There isn't any, and probably won't be any. For this reason: more than 100 kinds of rhino viruses, the kind most frequently linked to fall and spring colds, can cause symptoms. "A factor common to all the common colds has not been isolated, "said Joan Hartman of the NIAID. "That's why there's no immunization." reatments vary. The most common plain one is the chicken noodle soup treatment. There's more than the power of suggestion at work here. Dr. Marvin Sackner, chief of medicine at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, found chicken soup cleared mucus from sinuses faster than other hot beverages. The "Harvard Medical Utter" told of "Mother Nature's Tincture of Time" remedy, to wit: If you do nothing, you will get better in a week but if you treat symptoms vigorously, you will get better in seven days. Science knows that a cold is self-limited, by the way. That means most colds run their course, no matter what, and go away. "Given this fact (that colds are self- limited)," the Harvard Medical Letter says, "it is amazing that Americans spend over $500 million each year for non-prescription cold remedies, not including aspirin." If there are complications, such a pneumonia developing from bacterial complications, antibiotics may be needed. The same treatment may be thrown into battle against a cold's bacterial infections hitting the sinuses, ears, throat. But since most colds are caused by viruses and antibiotics don't work against viruses, it's a waste of money and antibiotics to use the superdrugs against the common cold, authorities say. When a cold gets severe enough to send you in a feverish frenzy to the doctor, you shouldn't ask for antibiotics as a matter of course, common cold experts say. And if the doctor orders antibiotics, you should ask: "Doctor, are these antibiotics necessary?" On vitamin C and the common cold, the jury's still out, according to some authorities. But others, like Dr. Linus Pauling, Nobel prize winner and chief drum beater for vitamin C against the common cold, disagree. "Despite several studies ... there is no good evidence that high doses of vitamin C are effective in preventing or treating the common cold," says the "Harvard Medical Letter." "The Book of Health", edited by Dr. Ernst L. Wynder, president of the American Health Foundation, says: "Vitmin C deficiency weakens the delicate walls of fine blood vessels and causes scurvy which involves bleeding in muscles, anemia, and poor healing of wounds. The vitamin is needed for formation of the fibrous protein collagen, which strengthens many tissues. "The only certain value of vitamin C is the prevention and treatment of scurvy. "The evidence that taking a huge quantity — 1,000 milligrams a day or more — will avert the common cold is tenuous. "Some researchers have found slight protection against virus infections; others, using 3,000 milligrams a day, found none." All the NIAID evidence shows common cold viruses most likely are spread from nose to hands. If the hands are not washed frequently and well, and especially at certain times, such as after blowing the nose, cold viruses stay on the hands a while. R, research shows they may rub off the skin and survive for hours on non-porous surfaces such as cabinet or desk tops and even doorknobs. A person touching the surface, getting the germs on hands, then rubbing nose or eyes with the hand harboring the germs can give himself the infection. Studies also show more colds start on a Monday than any other day. Authorities say this supports the theory that a cold is picked up during the week, incubates over the weekend and becomes full-blown by Monday morning. Cold weather does not cause colds and neither does getting chilled. They Spotlight The Salina Journal Treatment tips and a glossary Treatment tips, from Dr. Keith Sehnert's "How to Be Your Own Doctor Sometimes": • Avoid excessively cold temperatures and over-fatigue. • Go to bed if you have a fever. If not, get extra rest. • Increase liquid. Eight ounces of Juice or water every two hours. • Stop smoking. • Gargle with hot salt solution. • Use throat lozenges if helpful. • Use nose drops. • Use oral nasal decongestant if needed for relief of symptoms. • Take aspirin, if needed. • Check temperature three times daily and record. • When to call the doctor: when temperature goes over 101; when increase in throat pain; when white or yellow spots on tonsils or throat; when having shaking chills and chattering teeth; when there's shortness of breath or chest pain or earache or pain in sinuses or when coughing produces green or gray sputum during the day. Or if there is no improvement in the cold by the fifth day. A glossary of some non-prescription items for treatment of common cold, as reported in the "Harvard Medical Letter": Decongestants: Usually sympathomimetic amines (means they constrict blood vessels). When used topically, sprays or drops, they may produce a rebound in which the nose later becomes even more congested. When taken orally, doses of decongestant required to constrict nasal vessels will also constrict blood vessel* elsewhere and therefore will cause potential dangers, especially for persons with high blood pressure. Antihlataminea: Used in cold remedies to take advantage of anticholinergic properties — which may dry up nasal secretions in early stages. However, these same properties can cause blurred vision and urinary retention and may pose problems for those on glaucoma medicine. A major side effect of antihistamine is sedation. Persons sensitive to this reaction should avoid driving. Antipyretics: Anti-fever agents and analgesics, anti- pain agents. Included are aspirin and acetaminophen used to suppress aches and pain of viral infections, colds included. Most colds, however, are not accompanied by fever, even through the patient may feel warm. Almost all of the countercold remedies have aspirin or acetaminophen or both. Etc.: "Almost anything can be found in some cold remedies. Vitamins, tranquilizers, quinine and even laxatives. Some remedies contain caffeine to attempt to counter the sedative effect." by person-to-person con- claim they never get a cold. • About half the population gets a cold in winter; 20 percent in summer. • Among workers, 60 million colds causes loss of 1 million man hours or roughly 6 days per person per year. Colds account for one-fourth of all time lost from work. are caused tact. The "Good Housekeeping Family Health and Medical Guide" makes these points: • Colds tend to occur most frequently in the young. Preschool kids average 6 to 12 a year, their parents 6. Older adults 2 or 3 per year. But some people A common cold primer: Symptoms: First signs usually sneezing, headache and feeling of malaise — ill health. Then chill, plus sore throat or runny nose, congested sinuses, cough, feeling warm or fever. That's upper respiratory tract involvement mostly. The ears and chest may also be involved. When the geese fly South, it's the time for reflection By BECCY TANNER Features Editor Autumn. It is golden leaves kissing the soil on frosty mornings and thousands of waterfowl honking and quacking across crisp skies. It's the season of sounds. A time when Mother Nature readies her kingdom for a winter's sleep. And like rebellious children 10 minutes before bedtime, the protests are heard. It's in the coyotes yapping on starlit nights and in the caws of crows bickering over the remains of a milo field. Fall has arrived, and winter is near. It's in the puffs of air that catch in the back of a jogger's throat and jet out with as much enthusiasm as locomotive steam. It's a time of reflection — of sliding back from food-laden tables and asking questions. Triggering point "I think this time of the year always provides a triggering point for people," said Connie Schalz, a licensed clinical social worker for the Counseling and Growth Center, Lutheran Social Services. "It acts as a reviewing phenomena," she •aid. "For some people, they can see geese flying South and it acts as a trigger — for either thinking backward or forward. It's a chance to make plans, to evaluate where you have gone and are going." All this from Mother Nature's bedtime stories? Journal Photo by J«H Irlttgom When nature's seasonal clock triggers waterfowl migration, human reflection often follows. You bet. "I guess it's whatever triggers a person's imagination or thought process," Schmalz said. "But anytime we have this phenomena take place, it's bound to be healthful." Nature is often the most subtle trigger in "asking these thought-provoking questions," Schmalz said. But the wilds aren't the only places for review. "Oh no, not at all," Schmalz said. "In fact the holiday season is when most people ask themselves just what they expect out of life. Traditionally, it's the time of the year we should be most happiest. And if something isn't quite right, well then, we ask why not. Still, it's a reviewing process." Meanwhile the geese keep honking and the coyotes are yapping. And all this has Marving Kraft, waterfowl project leader for the Kansas Fish and Game Commission at Pratt, thinking. He's happy, he says, because Mother Nature is providing tola reviewing phenomena for mankind. And yes, he admits with a chuckle, he's the type of guy who gets sentimental over a "bunch of geese" flying in a "V" formation. Still, he's concerned about the day when Mother Nature may not be able to send her woodland children off to bed. No, he's not an alarmist, just a conservationist. "I suspect the reason geese fly South has something to do with evolution of millions of years," Kraft said. "How the wildlife knows when the seasons have changed, I don't know. They have their own alarm clocks. It has something to do with the days' length and changes in temperatures. It sets something off within their glandular systems." But, according to Kraft, a controversy is brewing. "We are finding that the winter seasons have been getting milder," Kraft said. "Consequently, some of the waterfowl, like geese, have been wintering farther north. "The waterfowl are staying in the Dakotas, partly because of the advent of more irrigation. You see, for the goose to survive he needs water and corn. Well, more irrigation systems have been introduced and the geese are getting exactly what they need. "This has been fine up to now. We've had mild winters up there. But what happens if we get a harsh winter? The birds could easily fly to bettor habitat, but normally they don't in the late season. Consequently, they end up •tarving." Sure, he says, he's worried. "Mother Nature is delicate. And yes, I worry about those possibilities, but that's my job. Anytime, though, you see a part of nature, you can't help but get a good feeling. And that'! why fall is so special, it gets people to thinking."

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