Prevention of Common Cold

Common cold can not be fully prevented. Vaccine as a preventive method for common cold is impractical, due to large number of viruses (estimated to be more than hundred different viruses causing common cold) which can cause common cold. If one viral infection is prevented by use of vaccine another type of virus will infect and cause common cold.

There is also no effective medicine (antiviral antibiotic) available for treatment and prophylaxis of common cold. Due to absence of effective antiviral antibiotic, chemoprophylaxis is also not useful.

In absence of effective vaccine and effective antiviral antibiotic for chemoprophylaxis, the prevention of common cold infection is based of improvement of general and personal hygiene and adaptation of healthy habits and incorporation healthy habits into one’s lifestyle. Simple improvement of personal hygiene level can be very useful in reducing common cold infections, as it is not possible to completely prevent common cold infection.

The following general measures can be helpful in reducing incidence of common cold infection:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly regularly and before eating something and teach this to your children.
  • Keep objects clean, which can transmit common cold viruses such as door handle, toys, and other commonly used objects at home.
  • Do not share towels, drinking glasses, utensils etc. especially if someone at home is suffering from cold. Use disposable items such as glasses, where possible. Person suffering from cold should use different items from other family members.
  • Use tissues and handkerchiefs while sneezing and discard tissue immediately and wash handkerchief immediately after sneezing and wash your hands before you touch children. Teach your children to sneeze into tissue.
  • Avoid close and prolonged contact with individuals with cold.
  • Select childcare center carefully and look for person and general hygiene practices at the childcare center before selecting.

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