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  • Question 1/14

    How long can cold germs live on your bathroom sink?

  • Answer 1/14

    How long can cold germs live on your bathroom sink?

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    • Correct Answer:

    A lot depends on which virus you're dealing with. They can also survive for that long on things like your kitchen counter and that doorknob your preschooler just touched after wiping his nose without a tissue. If someone in your house has a cold, wipe surfaces with a virus-killing disinfectant.

  • Question 1/14

    By the time you have cold symptoms, you're not contagious anymore.

  • Answer 1/14

    By the time you have cold symptoms, you're not contagious anymore.

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    • Correct Answer:

    Colds spread most easily before your symptoms start and during the first 2-4 days after they begin. You don't have to hide in a bubble, but try to avoid close contact with others when you're sick, and wash your hands frequently. Cover your mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough -- or use the crook of your elbow. (You don't usually touch people or objects with your elbow, so you're less likely to spread germs than if you cover your mouth with your bare hand.)

  • Answer 1/14

    What causes colds?

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    • Correct Answer:

    There are more than 200 viruses that can give you a cold. The most common is rhinovirus, which accounts for 50%-80% of common colds. Antibiotics don't work against viruses (only bacteria). Using them to treat a cold not only doesn't help but they may cause side effects.

  • Question 1/14

    If you go outside with wet hair when it's chilly, you'll probably catch a cold.

  • Answer 1/14

    If you go outside with wet hair when it's chilly, you'll probably catch a cold.

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    • Correct Answer:

    "Don't go out with that wet head, you'll catch your death of cold!" Despite your mom's warnings, it doesn't put you at greater risk. You might feel chilled and uncomfortable, but colds are spread by germs, not the temperature.

  • Answer 1/14

    People catch more colds in winter because:

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    • Correct Answer:

    Colds are spread by close contact, and in the winter we spend a lot more time inside, keeping warm. That means we're more exposed to other people -- and their germs. Winter air is also much drier than the air in spring and summer, and cold viruses tend to thrive in low humidity. (Running a humidifier in your bedroom during the coldest winter months can help with cold symptoms.)

  • Question 1/14

    Echinacea and vitamin C help prevent colds or shortens a cold if you already have one.

  • Answer 1/14

    Echinacea and vitamin C help prevent colds or shortens a cold if you already have one.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Some people swear by Vitamin C. But there is very little proof that Vitamin C has any effect on preventing the common cold. However, a large analysis of studies showed that patients taking Vitamin C every day (at least 200 mg/day) had a small reduction in how long their colds lasted.

    Reviews of studies of echinacea's effectiveness in fighting colds suggest the herbal extract may help prevent cold symptoms but does not shorten the duration of the illness. 

     

  • Question 1/14

    When your preschooler has a cold, the best treatment is:

  • Answer 1/14

    When your preschooler has a cold, the best treatment is:

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    The best remedy for him is an old-fashioned one: Stay in bed and get plenty to drink. Don't give over-the-counter cold and cough medications to children under age 4. There's no evidence that these medicines help children. Any possible benefits are not worth the risk.

  • Question 1/14

    Grandma was right: Chicken soup can help relieve a cold.

  • Answer 1/14

    Grandma was right: Chicken soup can help relieve a cold.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    It helps break up your stuffy nose. Some studies suggest that it curbs the inflammation that leads to a sore throat. And when you're feeling run-down, the combination of lean protein and vegetables can help boost your strength to fight off illness.

  • Answer 1/14

    The best way to prevent a cold is:

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    • Correct Answer:

    Here's how to do it right: Wet your hands first, then apply soap, and scrub for at least20 seconds. That's how long it takes you to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice. Hand sanitizers can also be a good supplement to regular handwashing.

  • Question 1/14

    Even if your child seems to get a cold every month, it's probably not a sign of a more serious problem.

  • Answer 1/14

    Even if your child seems to get a cold every month, it's probably not a sign of a more serious problem.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Kids get between 6 and 10 colds every year -- including spring and summer -- so it's not unusual for your child to be sniffling and sneezing every other month, or even more often. If he's in day care, preschool, or another setting where he spends a lot of time with other kids, he'll get exposed to lots of germs.

  • Question 1/14

    It's probably the flu -- not just a cold -- if you have:

  • Answer 1/14

    It's probably the flu -- not just a cold -- if you have:

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    • Correct Answer:

    Some people do run a slight fever along with a cold, but if you have a high temperature it's more likely the flu or a complication. Fatigue, while more common with the flu, also happens with colds.

  • Question 1/14

    Stressed out? You're more likely to catch a cold.

  • Answer 1/14

    Stressed out? You're more likely to catch a cold.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    It's not just your yoga teacher trying to persuade you to take another class: Studies show that people are more likely to catch a cold when they're under stress. You may be more vulnerable to getting sick if you face stress that lasts more than 1 month, like trouble at work or problems in your family relationships. And if stress is stealing valuable sleep, you're likelier to catch a cold. 

  • Answer 1/14

    If you have a runny nose, green-tinged mucus means:

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Mucus during a cold is usually clear or light yellow, but it can change to thick yellow or green-tinged mucus. This suggests the complication of rhinosinusitis, where the cold virus inflames the nasal passages and sinuses. You may also have nasal obstruction, facial pain, and headaches. Rarely, green-tinged mucus during a cold is caused by bacteria. 

  • Question 1/14

    The flu vaccine also works for colds.

  • Answer 1/14

    The flu vaccine also works for colds.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    It only protects you from the virus that causes the flu. Scientists are trying to create a vaccine for the common cold, but it's a tough job because there are hundreds of viruses that can cause one. It probably will be many years before any vaccine is effective against colds.

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Sources | Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on February 14, 2017 Medically Reviewed on February 14, 2017

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on
February 14, 2017

IMAGE PROVIDED BY:
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REFERENCES:
American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology: "Anaphylaxis Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Management;" "Asthma Statistics;" "Prevention of Allergies and Asthma in Children: Tips to Remember;" "Food Allergy: Tips to Remember;" "Global Warming Extends Ragweed Season;" and "Pet Allergy Overview."

American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology:  "Billions of Ragweed Pollen Grains Cause Most Seasonal Allergies" and "Spring Allergy Sufferers: Be Wary of Treatment Myths."

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. "Pet Allergies."

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: "Oral Allergy Syndrome."

Current Gastroenterology Reports.
 

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

KidsHealth, the Nemours Foundation. "All About Allergies."

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Lactose Intolerance."
 

James Sublett, MD, board-certified allergist, Family Allergy and Asthma, Louisville, Kentucky.

University of Maryland Medical Center. "Allergy Reactions-Overview."

Clinical Therapeutics: "Echinacea in the prevention of induced rhinovirus colds: a meta-analysis."

UpToDate.com.

Sleep: "Behaviorally Assessed Sleep and Susceptibility to the Common Cold."

Johns Hopkins Guides.

This tool does not provide medical advice.
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.