Cold and flu season is in full swing and flu season in particular is turning out to be pretty bad. So, here’s a True/False quiz to test your knowledge about how we get sick, and how to get better, faster:
True or False: They’re called “colds” because you catch them from cold weather. It’s partially true. Shivering at the bus stop won’t make you sick, but cold air holds less moisture. So, it dries out your body’s first line of defense – the mucous membranes in the nose, which makes it easier for germs to invade your body.
True or False: Sleep’s the best preventive measure and the best medicine. True. Fighting off infections requires a lot of energy. So, quality sleep is crucial. And hormones released during sleep help our immune systems battle viruses. In fact, sleep is so good at preventing colds and flu that people who get less than seven hours a night are three times more likely to get sick than those who get plenty of sleep.
True or False: You should starve a cold and feed a fever. False. Preventive medicine expert Dr. Mark Moyad says that cutting back on calories when you’re sick actually robs your immune system of the fuel it needs to do its job.
True or False: Avoiding people with symptoms will keep you cold and flu-free. That’s False. It takes two days for cold and flu symptoms to appear after someone’s been infected. And they’re still contagious for at least a day after they start feeling better. Your best bet: Wash your hands frequently. And keep your potentially contaminated fingers away from your eyes, nose and mouth.