The Uncommon Life of your Common Cold

Book - 2010
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Some colds are like mice, timid and annoying; others like dragons, accompanied by body aches and deep misery. In AH-CHOO!, Jennifer Ackerman explains what, exactly, a cold is, how it works, and whether it's really possible to "fight one off." Scientists call this the Golden Age of the Common Cold because Americans suffer up to a billion colds each year, resulting in 40 million days of missed work and school and 100 million doctor visits. They've also learned over the past decade much more about what cold viruses are, what they do to the human body, and how symptoms can be addressed. In this ode to the odious cold, Ackerman sifts through the chatter about treatments-what works, what doesn't, and what can't hurt. She dispels myths, such as susceptibility to colds reflects a weakened immune system. And she tracks current research, including work at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, a world-renowned center of cold research studies, where the search for a cure continues.
Publisher: New York : Twelve, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780446541152
Branch Call Number: 616.205 Ac57a
Characteristics: 245p


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BeccaBB Feb 26, 2012

Ackerman goes through all the different studies that have been done on the common cold. How and where you catch one, what can factor into whether you catch one, what are the best ways to avoid catching one and research on all the cold medicines and folk remedies that claim to fight one off. There are a lot of interesting facts here about what a cold actually does to your body, what causes the different symptoms, why it is impossible to create a vaccine and many others. (Did you know that you swallow about a quart of mucus a day? And that’s when you’re healthy. I’m not sure I wanted to know that but now I do.) It is very informative. There are a few words like turbinates and cytokines that I’m not sure exactly what they mean but the general idea is always clear enough. It goes through a lot of the commonly used medicines and supplements and tells you what research and science says about them. It also gives you some pointers on what to do for various symptoms. If you are interested in the science of the cold definitely read this. And if you can find nothing that helps you this book could be useful but if you have something that you swear works don’t read this. Sometimes the science does not support theory and you don’t want to lose any placebo effect that might be at work.

Dec 30, 2010

I enjoyed the information, but her attempts at being witty fell flat, and tended to be repetitive. It got tedious, so I ended up not finishing this one.

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