Articles in this issue:
Congratulations to our fellow employees on their anniversary with the team! We greatly appreciate and value your hard work and success; and for this, we stand by our saying that we have “Simply the Best People” here at Collins Electrical Company, Inc..
Thank you for all you do!
How to Stop a Cold
In the United States, most adults can expect to get at least two colds between September and March. Experts aren’t certain why, but they believe it’s because cold viruses survive best in cold, dry weather. So what’s the best way not to get sick? Here are the four top doctor-tested ways to keep colds away.
1. Fight off Colds by Embracing Your Inner Germophobe
Doctors and other medical professionals, who are on the front lines in the war against colds, have discovered ingenious ways to avoid touching hard surfaces that many other people have also touched (leaving behind cold viruses that can live for up to 24 hours). They open doors with their forearms, for instance, and push elevator buttons with their knuckles (good idea!). Train yourself to think in terms of public surfaces, which means being aware of anything other people touch. The handles of shopping carts, doorknobs and toilet seats are obvious concerns. But also consider the steering wheel of your car or personal computer, if there are others in your family that use those. Carry disinfectant wipes to wipe down surfaces and be mindful of washing your hands frequently and using hand sanitizer when out in the public.
2. Fight off Colds by Making Your Face off-Limits to Hands
Of the more than 200 viruses that cause the common cold, the majority are a type called rhinoviruses, the root of which is rhino, which means nose. Virus particles must make it into the mucous membranes lining the nose in order to cause infection; the nasopharynx — where the nose meets the mouth — is the “sweet spot” for these viruses. If they can reach this spot, it’s very likely you’ll get sick; if you prevent them from getting there, you won’t. And a virus deposited at the base of the nose can easily be inhaled higher up into the nose. Virus particles can’t easily reach the nose on their own, since they don’t stay airborne for long; they need your hands to transport them there. Therefore, if your hands don’t touch your mouth or nose, the virus has no way to hitchhike a ride. One more thing most people don’t realize: The eyes are connected directly to the nasal passages via the tear ducts so avoid wiping your eyes as well.
3. Fight off Colds by Being Wary of the Sneeze
It may look a little silly when you see someone sneeze into the crook of their elbow, but they’re doing you an enormous favor. Colds are spread by physical contact with tiny particles of virus, and when you sneeze, you send droplets of virus-filled mucous raining down onto any handy surface, including your hand if you’ve used it to cover your mouth. So do everyone, including yourself, a favor by training yourself and your family in the art of the elbow sneeze. (If you do use a tissue, make sure to dispose of it promptly. One study found that cold germs can live for several hours on tissues and other porous surfaces.)
4. Fight off Colds With Vitamin D
There is one simple and inexpensive vitamin that’s proven to boost immune function, though: vitamin D. According to a 2010 study of schoolchildren published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, taking just 1,200 IUs (international units) of vitamin D cut their rate of getting influenza A by almost half. Studies show that most adults don’t get enough of this nutrient from their diet alone. Experts don’t yet know exactly how vitamin D protects against colds and flu, but numerous studies show a direct association between low blood levels of vitamin D and frequency of infection. It’s easy to have the level of vitamin D in your blood checked via a blood test. But a safer approach may be to take a vitamin D supplement no matter what, since there aren’t any negative side effects to worry about unless you take a huge amount. It’s best to take it in the form of vitamin D-3, because is most easily absorbed.