There are a range of common misconceptions about catching cold and how to avoid them, find out which of these myths might have some truth behind them.
Cold and flu are the same
Both diseases are caused by different pathogens. While influenza viruses are responsible for a flu outbreak, the common cold can be triggered by over 200 different viruses.
Colds usually start gradually, whereas flu comes on suddenly and often involves a fever and muscle aches and pains.
Wet hair can cause a cold
Wet hair doesn’t cause a cold, it is caused by infection from common cold viruses. However, if the immune system is already weak, becoming very cold can further weaken it. Wet hair in cold conditions can lead to a drop in body temperature which can have a negative effect on a weakened immune system, so it is best to avoid going into the cold with wet hair.
When coughing cover your mouth
Many people still consider it polite to hold their hand over their mouth when coughing. Anyone who coughs into their hand transmits an enormous number of viruses onto the palm of the hand. If they then touch objects, they increase the risk of infection for others immensely. So the advice is now to cough into the crook of the arm.
Vitamin C can cure a cold
It appears that daily vitamin C has no real impact on catching a cold, although it may have a small positive effect on the duration of a cold, but only if it is taken as part of a daily routine. High doses of vitamin C once a cold has started have shown no consistent effect on duration or severity of common cold.