Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Cold and flu? No, thank you

Published:Monday | December 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The hot and dry summer days are long gone and have been replaced by cold wet ones. The perfect atmosphere for the common cold. Every year, the average person gets sick approximately three times and perhaps you have met your quota. Whether or not, I am sure no one wants to be sick during Christmas.

According to general practitioner Dr Garth Rattray, cold and flus are caused by viruses, usually seasonal, that mutate from year to year. So, having a cold or a flu this year will not confer immunity for the new viruses that may attack you next year.

The doctor notes that taking additional vitamin C has not been proven to be effective against viruses. Even megadoses of vitamin C may prove useless. In fact, as long as there is

no proven vitamin deficiency, vitamin supplementation of any kind is usually a waste of time and money. Ingesting natural vitamins is best.

Rattray advises persons to avoid contracting the virus by practising the following.

- Keeping healthy habits - good nutrition with foods high in fibre, fresh vegetables, fruits, water, adequate rest, minimising stress, performing regular (consistent and moderate) exercise, avoiding smoking and minimising alcohol consumption does wonders for the immune system.

- The viruses that cause colds and flus are easily transmitted by touching objects that have been handled by infected persons. Always wash hands before eating or putting them to any part of your face. Use soap and water (if possible, warm water) and wash twice. Soaps do not kill organisms (like viruses or bacteria); it allows them to be dislodged and washed away with water. Carry alcohol-based hand sanitisers and use them if soap and water are not readily available.

- The virus can also be airborne. Persons with colds should stay away from others until they have recovered fully. And, they should use tissues or handkerchiefs when coughing or sneezing to contain the virus. If someone is coughing or sneezing around you, leave the area or try to protect yourself by covering up.

- Flu-like viruses are more easily transmitted in cold weather, because people tend to remain together indoors, and when the particulates that contain viruses are expelled (as with a cough or a sneeze). The lower temperatures allow the infected droplets to remain intact longer before becoming disorganised and, therefore, unable to bridge the gap between people.

 

The flu and Sex

 

 

Many persons are of the notion that having sex can help to 'sweat out' the cold or flu. Flair asked a few readers if they agreed. Here is what they had to say:

If both parties are up to it, I don't see why not, because a good dose of vitamin S can cure any illness.

- G.W., male.

 

Yes! Especially if he doesn't mind catching it and I am physically able to function. In most cases, I just lay there and enjoy the ride *wink*.

- A.F., female.

 

Oooh yes. I always tell ba(b)e I need to sweat it out.

- V.L. female.

 

Yes! A nuh dead me a dead. If my woman comes to me and asks for sex while I have a cold or flu, as long as I can manage, it's let's go baby! If she is sick, then I will take into consideration how she is feeling. But me naa deny my spouse sex because I am sick.

- G.W., male

 

No I don't think I should. But I am aware that people do it to sweat it out. I totally disagree and I doubt there is any medical research to back such beliefs.

- H.B., male.

 

Depending how bad the flu is. If it is in the beginning stages, then yes, because sex can help to sweat it out. If it isn't, then I would prefer if my partner nursed me back to health so that I can give her that 100 per cent she is used to.

- R.C. male.

 

I think you should, not only because you can sweat it out, but because rest is very important to recovering from the cold or flu, and what better way to have long sweet dreams than by engaging in a nice, energetic workout to take my mind off my sickness.

- K.A., female.

 

They say sex releases a happy hormone and when I am sick I could use some happy feeling, so I don't have any problems with that.

- A.B., male

 

General practitioner Garth Rattray dispelled such rumours, explaining that sexual activity does not help with recovery. "Sexual activity may confer some degree of limited and brief physical activity, but certainly not enough to be considered as regular (consistent and moderate) exercise to combat the [flu or cold] virus(es)," he said