As a rule, influenza and ARVI viruses overtake us at the most inopportune moment. We are trying by any means to quickly get in shape and do not always do the right thing.

8 cold myths: what are you doing wrong, thereby delaying recovery

If we add together all the days that we spent on sick leave with the flu and SARS (and in recent years also with the coronavirus) during our lives, it will come up to about a year - no less! With such solid experience in dealing with viruses, runny nose and cough, each of us considers himself an expert in this matter, but at the same time he often takes popular myths about the common cold at face value.

Myth 1. Take antibiotics from the first days

They do not act on viruses: it is at least unreasonable to suppress colds and flu with them. But they destroy your own microflora on the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract, and this, in turn, can lead to dysbacteriosis with severe diarrhea. A doctor may recommend antibiotics for bacterial complications that sometimes accompany a viral infection in debilitated people, but this is rarely needed. 

But again, only a specialist should prescribe antibiotics after an examination. Do not self-medicate!

Myth 2. Drink hot tea more often

Drinking plenty of water is really useful - it helps to remove harmful substances from the body that enter the bloodstream during the destruction of viral particles. In addition, the more fluids you drink, the greater the antipyretic effect. Anything will do: tea with linden flowers, raspberry jam or a slice of lemon, rosehip infusion, milk with honey, cranberry juice, or even ordinary table water. However, there is one “but”: the drink should not be hot, but slightly cooled. It is no coincidence that in phytorecepts they write: "Take the infusion warm." Why? Because the burning drink does not heal, but cripples: it raises the body temperature and injures the mucous membranes attacked by viruses, increasing pain (especially with pharyngitis or tonsillitis). What's more, hot drinks increase sweating and increase your heart rate, which puts extra stress on your heart. 

Myth 3. Vodka with pepper defeats SARS

Alcohol does not activate the body's defenses, but, on the contrary, significantly weakens them. In addition, by loading the liver in this way, which is already struggling to neutralize "cold toxins", you only worsen your well-being and delay the healing process. 

Myth 4. You can catch the virus only from a sick person.

Not always! Many respiratory viruses are able to integrate into our DNA. They hang in a dormant state among our genes until they are awakened by some strong shock that weakens the immune system: for example, trauma, stress or hypothermia. Remember how it usually happens: dressed too lightly, froze to the bone and eventually got a runny nose without any contact with the sick. So do not stand in the wind and dress for the weather, and most importantly - do not forget to take a hat before leaving the house. Up to 80% of the body's thermal energy is produced by the brain and, accordingly, dissipated from the surface of the head. If it is not covered with a hat or scarf, hypothermia cannot be avoided!

Myth 5. Infection will not stick to infection

This is often said, so some, having taken a sick leave, drop in to visit their neighbors or relatives with the flu - to help or pass the time, because being sick is “more fun” together. Typical misconception! Contacts during a cold should be limited: with healthy people - so as not to infect them, and with the same colds - so as not to exchange viruses, then a second infection will layer on one. There are hundreds of causative agents of respiratory diseases: the chance that you will have the same type of cold is negligible. And in the case of coronavirus , compliance with the self-isolation regime is generally a necessary thing!

Myth 6. Drafts lead to a cold

Think for yourself: could a species survive, for which the wind walking through the dwelling poses a serious threat? Of course not! Through ventilation is an effective means of preventing viral infections. 

In order not to get sick with them, ventilate the house and office as needed, but at least once an hour in winter. And in summer, your windows should be wide open (unless, of course, you live in the center of a metropolis with a high degree of gas pollution).

In the stuffy, stuffy, almost oxygen-deprived air of unventilated rooms, viruses literally swarm, which means that the risk of catching a cold is higher than on the street, even if it is cold there. After all, the cause of a cold is not in the cold as such, but in viruses: closed, poorly ventilated rooms are their main breeding ground! 

This is proved by cases of mass illnesses with influenza and SARS of passengers of the subway and airliners: it is worth one coughing and sneezing subject to appear in a train car or aircraft cabin, as 25–50% (depending on the degree of contagiousness, that is, the contagiousness of the infection) passengers also get sick. The same goes for buses. It is better to freeze a little by walking home than to drive up in a warm bus full of cold passengers: in the first case, the risk of catching a cold is 5-10%, in the second - almost a hundred. 

By the way, scientists explain the increased incidence of influenza and SARS in the cold season by the fact that during the cold season we spend more time with each other indoors, which increases the likelihood of infection.

Myth 7. You should always bring down the temperature

If it is far from the mark of 39 ° C and you tolerate it relatively well, then you can wait a little with antipyretic drugs. Temperature reaction is an indicator of the activity of the immune system. When she is at the peak of the fight against viruses, the temperature can stay at 38 ° C. This means that the internal defense mechanisms are working successfully and will quickly cope with unwanted "invaders". In this case, the cold will not drag on: it will pass in 5-7 days. If you bring down the temperature , then the period of illness may increase. 

The thermometer shows above 38 ° C? Start with simple cooling methods, such as rubbing yourself with water. If the temperature continues to rise or if you feel worse, take an antipyretic tablet or call your doctor.

Myth 8. Immunity after recovery lasts for the whole season

Alas, it is not! After an illness, you remain immune to the type of influenza virus that you had the disease, but during the season you may encounter other strains of this virus and, accordingly, get the flu again. Up to three strains can circulate simultaneously. They are saved by a vaccination, which is created in accordance with the expected activation of certain varieties of the influenza virus in a given territory.