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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What factors increase the chance of getting a cold/the flu?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3


    Dr E. Vanessa Salazar Serrano

    GP (General Practitioner)

    Dr. Serrano is a Queensland-trained female GP.Following completion of her medical degree from the University of Queensland, Dr. Serrano has worked at the Royal Brisbane … View Profile

    The viruses that cause the common cold are transmitted in airborne droplets from saliva and nasal discharge. For a person to become infected with these viruses they have to come into contact with the mouth or nose secretions of another infected person. These viruses can be released into droplets from coughing, sneezing, or remain on the hands of someone who has a cold (who can then spread them onto door handles and other surface, where the viruses can remain alive for some time). The factors that increase your chances of catching a cold are being in close proximity to a lot of people (by there being a greater chance that some of them are currently infected), smoking (as it compromises the body's natural ability to fend off respiratory bugs), inadequately washing your hands before touching your own face (as the virus enters through moist surfaces, including the eyes), and having decreased immunity from another illness or certain medication.

  • 1


    Dr Helko Schenk

    GP (General Practitioner)

    I am an enthusiastic grass roots GP in regional Geraldton and provide all aspects of family medicine and general practice, happily deal with injuries and minor … View Profile

    What factors decrease your chance and the chance is a
    Healthy lifestyle a good balanced diet plenty fruit, regular exercise, avoiding smoking, stay at home when ill with the cold and flu and dressing appropriately.
    Simple hygienic precautions if you're sick makes sense, don’t cough and sneeze at people directly, wash & clean your hands regularly if you have a cold and don’t share towels when sick.
    Avoid kids sharing toys and seek annual influenza vaccination especially if you have chronic illness in particular chest, heart disease and diabetes.
    Prevention of colds is difficult as viruses are many and change.
    Vitamins and Supplements have no good evidence in protection from colds
    Echinacea and Zinc might help you to get over cold if you already have one.

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