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World's Best Advice for your Common Cold!

180. Dr. Bob has a common cold — thanks to cold air

“You should see a doctor for that” I cajoled him over the phone.

“yeah, right,” he grumbled, not appreciating the humor in my ribbing.  “I slept with the blanket over my head, am sipping hot cocoa, turned the heat up in the cold apartment.”

Midway through His latest shift in the ER, he discovered the heater in the Emergency Department rooms was not working and finally got a technician in to fix it.

He had been so busy  in his shift yesterday a hopping department full of sick patients that he didn’t realize how chilly the normally cold air had become.

But it was not so unusual that the department rooms had cold air.  Other staff often like to turn the thermostat down. In fact, many hospital clinics have a tendency to keep the thermostat low, perhaps in the belief that doing so generally prevents germs from growing?  But probably a more likely reason is that physically active workers tend to prefer cooler air in their work stations to feel more comfortable as they run around.

Little do they know that a cooler temperature actually nutures rhinoviruses to grow.

But this was worse. It took a while until Dr. Bob noticed the extra coolness since he was caught up in his hectic work of seeing the emergency patients, and was physically active examining patients and walking around the department. It was the patients who were sitting and lying still for longer periods who noticed the cold air first and brought it to his attention with their complaints.

So unfortunately, the upshot is that in those short chilly hours before he noticed the cold air he was breathing, the virus was able to replicate exponentially until he felt those unmistakable symptoms of a full blown cold virus come on strong. He then spent the next 24 hours of his time off battling the viral infection with hot drinks and warm steam and lots of sleep.

Too bad some faster intervention of heat and steam in the early stages could have saved him a lot of time and suffering.

It’s also part of his hazardous duty environment working in the ER to be constantly swimming through a flood of viruses, since many of the patients coming in are infected and are only too happy to share their germs with the ER staff, coughing, sneezing, breathing, and sometimes even vomiting on them. Lovely.

Bob says he is also wearing a surgical face mask on his shift today, both to filter out his rhinovirus germs he is exuding, and incoming germs from patients, and also to create a little pocket of warm air to breath, one more Warm & Steamy method he can easily do, even when the heater isn’t functioning.

At least this is one thing he can have control over, no matter what anybody else does.

— Peggy The Doctor’s Wife

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