Pat Shingleton: "A Cold? Not the Temp."
Mom relied on mustard plasters, Vick's Vapo-Rub and salt-water gargling to relieve cold symptoms. She believed temperature changes were the cause. As noted in a previous column, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases contend cold weather is the common scapegoat for colds and viruses. Their research confirms drastic changes in temperature does not cause these illnesses. Germs are transmitted through direct contact and the Institute has determined that people tend to get sick, at this time of the year, because of time spent indoors. In an environment of dry, indoor air, viruses thrive and are furthered through direct contact. Cold and flu prevention includes hand washing, fresher air and fewer layers of clothing.