Articles on Colds

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People aren’t productive at work when they’re ill and they risk infecting others. William Brawley/Flickr

Health Check: I feel a bit sick, should I stay home or go to work?

You wake up and feel under the weather. If you're vomiting or have a fever, the decision to stay at home is probably clear cut. But what if you generally feel unwell but are torn about missing work?
Cold and flu tablets won’t cure a cold. Flood G./Flickr

The low-down on ‘cold and flu’ tablets

Pharmacies have aisles full of cold and flu tablets. But which product is the best one for you? And will it really help you feel better?
Not all gross: mucus is vital for healthy airways. William Brawley/Flickr

Health Check: what you need to know about mucus and phlegm

We tend to notice mucus only when it’s abnormal and the sticky fluid is expelled from orifices. But actually it’s pretty amazing stuff. Every moment of our lives mucus is protecting our internal organs…
They may not cure your cold but they’ll will help you forget your miseries. Drew Leavy/Flickr

Health Check: a hot toddy for the winter chill

Feeling miserable? Is your nose blocked and your throat sore? If not, it will be sometime this winter, probably at least a couple of times. And then someone will probably say at your low ebb that “you…
Unfortunately, nothing really works – or works that well – to prevent or treat colds. Jacob Spencer

Health Check: can you treat the common cold?

With symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, cough, headaches and fever, the common cold can leave you feeling rotten for up to two weeks. As the name suggests, they’re annoyingly common…
Adults usually get around three colds per year. Sergio Alvarez

Health Check: when is ‘the flu’ really a cold?

Most people who think they have the flu, don’t. And some people who think they have a cold, really have the flu. So what is the difference between a cold and the flu? And does it matter? A cold is a mild…
Whether or not you are feeding a cold or starving it makes little difference to the biology of a common cold. Image from

Monday’s medical myth: feed a cold, starve a fever

This winter, most of us will catch a cold. Our kids will probably catch at least two or three. We all know you are supposed to feed a cold and starve a fever. But does it really make any difference if…
Only a lab test can confirm what virus you’ve been infected with. Jason Rogers

Move over flu, there’s more than one respiratory virus around

Influenza or flu is one of those dustbin words used by the media and by health professionals to cover the myriad causes of a respiratory infection. The only way to be sure is with laboratory testing of…

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