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 How we catch colds and flu

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Hopeful Henry
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Hopeful Henry

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How we catch colds and flu Empty
PostSubject: How we catch colds and flu   How we catch colds and flu Icon_minitimeThu Sep 13, 2007 10:33 am

There
is one sure thing for colds and flu - there’s a lot of it
about.
How much is actually about varies from year
to year, but you can be sure that you will catch them sometime.
This must be the golden age of colds and flu. So many people crowd
together indoors in winter, at home, at work, at school, and in
travelling. This makes the chances of coming into close contact
with someone who has one of the viruses so much more probable.
Even though the viruses are quite hard to catch, this means there
are a lot of chances when you are exposed to them in everyday
life. They are also travelling all around the world in a matter
of hours. Colds and flu are having a very successful jet-set life
travelling all around the world, and not just where it is cold,
they are also at home in the heat.


We
are all exposed to these viruses on a regular basis
,
but we do not get an infection every time. The great majority
of times our body’s defences work well and we are not infected.
Less often we are infected, but our body’s defences act
quickly to kill the infection, without us ever being aware that
we have been infected. Less often still we are infected and
suffer mild symptoms. Thankfully, least often of all, we catch
the virus and have a really bad infection. How bad our infection
becomes therefore depends on chance, the strength of the virus,
and our body’s defences.

The
usual way we catch the virus
is to breathe
them in on droplets in the air when someone sneezes. They can
also easily be caught by touching something with the virus already
on it, such as a cup, door handle, or telephone. The virus sticks
to our hand, and then we touch our eye or nose and it sticks
there. From our eye it is washed down with our tears into the
nose.

Your first line of defence
is the layer of mucus lining your nose. Unfortunately central
heating can dry this, making it less efficient at preventing
infections pass through.

The flu virus is more infectious than
a cold virus
because it can last longer in the air,
and still be infectious. This is why a new strain of flu can
be so dangerous, we may not have any natural resistance to it,
and can spread all over the world so quickly, affecting so many
people. This makes any new strain of flu a potential major killer
on a world wide scale, as without any natural resistance to
it flu can kill even fit and healthy people.

The
virus attacks
the cells lining the nose and
throat, and infects them. It only takes one virus to infect
one cell. Each infected cell is taken over by the virus, and
it makes many copies of itself, kills the cell, and releases
these new viruses to infect other cells. This happens so quickly
that within 12 hours of first arriving there may be a million
cells killed in the nose and throat.

The
nose and throa
t
are now awash
with viruses, and this is the time when we are most likely to
pass the infection on to someone else. Usually by blowing (or
wiping) our nose with our hands, and touching something before
washing them. What we touch could be a door handle, a light
switch, a telephone, a newspaper or a cup. The virus is infectious,
and waiting for someone to touch it, and then touch their eye
or nose, and spread the infection. Sneezing also spreads the
infection into the air.

You
are now the reluctant owner of a cold or flu infection!
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How we catch colds and flu Empty
PostSubject: Re: How we catch colds and flu   How we catch colds and flu Icon_minitimeTue Feb 03, 2009 12:30 am

Here is an interesting "fact" about flu germs I just learned this year (after being sick week after week in winter in Manhattan as our entire office passed the germs back and forth until spring finally sprung) - one reason it is more prevalent in the winter = the flu germ can not survive at temps of 84 and above. So a lot of those little buggers are killed off when we go out in those temps whereas they survive at length in the wintry climes.
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How we catch colds and flu Empty
PostSubject: Re: How we catch colds and flu   How we catch colds and flu Icon_minitimeTue Feb 03, 2009 12:37 am

so we should keep all houses and office temps at 85 degrees? Wink
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How we catch colds and flu Empty
PostSubject: Re: How we catch colds and flu   How we catch colds and flu Icon_minitimeTue Feb 03, 2009 1:17 am

Ha yes - that would work for me!!

I actually hate A/C but have to have it when "dressed" up - otherwise a tropical climate 365 days a year would be my ideal!
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pmfan
Deck Hand
Deck Hand


Number of posts : 68
Location : Ohio
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How we catch colds and flu Empty
PostSubject: Re: How we catch colds and flu   How we catch colds and flu Icon_minitimeTue Feb 17, 2009 9:46 pm

AlohaTad wrote:
Here is an interesting "fact" about flu germs I just learned this year (after being sick week after week in winter in Manhattan as our entire office passed the germs back and forth until spring finally sprung) - one reason it is more prevalent in the winter = the flu germ can not survive at temps of 84 and above. So a lot of those little buggers are killed off when we go out in those temps whereas they survive at length in the wintry climes.

Thanks for sharing that fact. It is something I never knew. Smile
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How we catch colds and flu Empty
PostSubject: Re: How we catch colds and flu   How we catch colds and flu Icon_minitime

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