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What is the best prevention for the common cold?

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Your best protection from the common cold and flu is frequent hand washing. The simple friction that occurs when you rub skin against skin while using warm water and soap followed by thorough rinsing and drying can get rid of most potentially harmful germs.

While germs are often transferred to others through household objects -- telephones, doorknobs, toothbrushes, and faucet handles -- the biggest transportation center for germs is your hands. That's why frequent hand washing gets rid of the illness-causing germs and helps to prevent the spread of some diseases -- especially if a family member, friend, or classmate has a cold or flu virus.

From: Common Cold Prevention WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Common Cold." FDA: "What to Do for Colds and Flu." American Lung Association: "A Survival Guide for Preventing and Treating Influenza and the Common Cold."


National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Is it a Cold or the Flu?"

UpToDate.

CDC.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on February 6, 2019

SOURCES: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Common Cold." FDA: "What to Do for Colds and Flu." American Lung Association: "A Survival Guide for Preventing and Treating Influenza and the Common Cold."


National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Is it a Cold or the Flu?"

UpToDate.

CDC.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on February 6, 2019

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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.

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