The Common Cold

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Written by an American family doctor in Beijing, this has basic information on the common cold -- how to prevent and treat it.

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The Common Cold

  1. 1. The Common Cold Richard Saint Cyr MD DABFP [email_address] www.myhealthbeijing.com August 2, 2009
  2. 2. Case: A Runny Nose 流鼻涕 liubiti
  3. 3. Case: A Runny Nose <ul><li>It is early March </li></ul><ul><li>A young kindergarten teacher has two days sore throat </li></ul><ul><li>Day 3: runny nose, cough, mild headache </li></ul><ul><li>No fever </li></ul>
  4. 4. Question: What Next? <ul><li>Antiviral pills </li></ul><ul><li>Antibiotic pills </li></ul><ul><li>Ganmaoqingrenkeli 感冒清热颗粒 </li></ul><ul><li>Tylenol Cold pills 泰诺感冒片 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Dx: The Common Cold <ul><li>“ Ganmao” 感冒 </li></ul><ul><li>Infection of head/upper lungs </li></ul><ul><li>Cause: many viruses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not flu virus! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When: winter & spring </li></ul><ul><li>Adults: 2-4 a year </li></ul><ul><li>Kids: 6-8 a year </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why So Common? <ul><li>Very infectious! (droplets, air) </li></ul><ul><li>Virus spreads to to others: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 day before symptoms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7 days after symptoms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>>200 viruses </li></ul><ul><li>Survive on surfaces for hours </li></ul>
  7. 7. Symptoms <ul><li>Common: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First: Fatigue, sore throat, low fever </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then: runny nose; headache; cough </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Serious: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pneumonia; secondary infections (bacteria) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Usual Course: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2-7 days. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cough can stay for weeks </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Prevention <ul><li>No vaccine </li></ul><ul><li>Good hygiene (wash hands!) </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid sick person </li></ul><ul><li>Get 8 hours of sleep </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t smoke </li></ul><ul><li>Be healthy (foods, exercise) </li></ul><ul><li>Humidifiers </li></ul>
  9. 9. Humidifiers Help <ul><li>Beijing in winter very dry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Worse indoors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Healthy humidity 40% </li></ul><ul><li>Too dry: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased infections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Itchy skin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cracked furniture </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Yadu brand ~900RMB </li></ul><ul><li>Each room! </li></ul>
  10. 10. Get 8 Hours of Sleep! <ul><li>Less sleep = lower immunity = more infection </li></ul><ul><li>Study, 2008: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sleep <7 hours vs >8 hours a night </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>300% more colds </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Prevention: Herbs? <ul><li>FREE SOURCE: http://www.naturaldatabase.com/ </li></ul>
  12. 12. How To Prevent Giving To Others <ul><li>Stay home </li></ul><ul><li>Wash hands </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid close contact </li></ul>
  13. 13. Self Treatment: Cough <ul><li>Cough syrups – none work well (0-20%) </li></ul><ul><li>Children <2: ineffective; dangerous </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Banned in USA since 2007 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dextromethorphan is best 右美沙芬 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Delsym” brand - import </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lemon & honey tea </li></ul><ul><li>Any cough drops </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ricola; Strepsils </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try sugar-free </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Self Treatment: Congestion <ul><li>Mucus color and thickness does not mean bacteria! </li></ul><ul><li>Nasal salt spray </li></ul><ul><li>Nasal spray Rx – 3-5 days max. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Oxymetazoline “Afrin” 羟甲唑啉 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pill pseudoephedrine “sudafed” 伪麻黄碱 </li></ul><ul><li>Combo pills: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bufferin Cold 日夜百服咛 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tylenol Cold 泰诺感冒片 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Humidifiers </li></ul>
  15. 15. Self Treatment: Herbals <ul><li>FREE SOURCE: http://www.naturaldatabase.com/ </li></ul>
  16. 16. What Clinics Can Do <ul><li>Physical exam </li></ul><ul><li>Lab test: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CBC (bacteria vs. virus); chest x-ray </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rx: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Symptom relief OTC Rx </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No antiviral medicine works well </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hospital/ER: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Complications (pneumonia) </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Why No Antibiotics? <ul><li>Caused by virus, not bacteria </li></ul><ul><li>Antibiotics kill bacteria, not virus </li></ul>X
  18. 18. What Do I Use When I’m Sick? <ul><li>No antibiotic </li></ul><ul><li>Start ASAP: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Zinc tablets (“Zicam” brand) every 2-4 hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Airborne, or Vitamin C tablets every 2-4 hours </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Symptom relief, as needed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tylenol Cold or Bufferin Cold pills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nasal spray </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Humidifier in winter (always on) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Does “Airborne” Work? <ul><li>USA product “created by a schoolteacher” </li></ul><ul><li>Dissolves in water </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Antiviral pills </li></ul><ul><li>Antibiotic pills </li></ul><ul><li>Ganmaoqingrenkeli 感冒清热颗粒 </li></ul><ul><li>Tylenol Cold pills 泰诺感冒片 </li></ul>What Next?

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