Tips to stopping a cold in its tracks - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Tips to stopping a cold in its tracks

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- It's about that time of the year when you or friends and co-workers start to feel a little under the weather, so is there a way to stop someone else's cold dead in its tracks before it gets to you?

It usually starts with the words nobody wants to hear. There must be something going around.

"The cold season seems to start in the fall, when people are congregating. School is the class ice example of that and then it carries on through the winter months and really doesn't taper off until the March timeframe," said Dr, Philip Hagen of Mayo Clinic

There are supplements out there such as airborne or herbs and minerals including zinc and echinacea that could potentially shorten the life of a cold.

"My rule of thumb is if you want to use zinc there's some reasonable science behind it, but I would not spray it in the nose or put it in the nose because it can cause side effects, especially loss of the sense of smell,"  said Hagen

So what about if your co-workers around you get sick, by that point it seems inevitable that that cold is coming your way. Is there a way of stopping it.

"We don't have enough good information to say we've got something that works for prevention. Zinc has been used in some long term studies and seems like it prevents some colds in some people. It is true if you want to use something like a zinc lozenge for your cold that the key time to take it is within the first 24 hours of symptoms," Hagen explained

But there could be some side effects you take something like zinc without being sick.

"If you're feeling well and then you take zinc, about 1 in 2 people get side effects from the zinc, nausea or metallic taste in the mouth. Even something as simple as Vitamin C can have side effects too and so I guess I'm a bigger fan of eating foods that have high Vitamin C contents like fresh fruits like oranges then I am in taking a supplement," said Hagen

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Maybe adding more weight to the phrase an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

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