For most folks, the misery of a cold is a short-term affair. Sure, you feel sneezy and drippy now, but you feel confident you'll be out of the woods a few days, maybe a few weeks at most. If you have an ongoing medical condition, though, you need to take extra precautions. Getting sick can make your health problems worse.
An icky fact: That elevator button or door knob you just touched? It likely has flu germs on it. If you're avoiding the flu, take note. Then wash those hands. Do it the right way -- and do it often, several times a day!
It's true -- germs can live on any surface for two hours or more. If someone in your office or school is infected, those germs can reside on anything they've touched -- desks, phones, coffee pots, microwaves, cafeteria tables, toys, books.
When flu prevention experts advise you...
It makes it harder for you to ward off a cold virus. Also, when you get sick, it adds extra stress to your body. This can affect your blood sugar levels, so it's important to take steps to keep them balanced.
Emphysema and chronic bronchitis affect about 15 million adults in the U.S. In both conditions, which are usually caused by long-term smoking, there's an airflow blockage that gets in the way of breathing.
The symptoms of both conditions get worse when you have a cold.
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, kills or damages cells in the immune system, your body's defense against germs. This makes it more difficult to fight infections like a cold. When you get sick, you're also more likely to get complications such as pneumonia.