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7 Surprising Facts About Colds & Flus

7 Surprising Facts About Colds & Flus


Cold and flu season is just around the corner. Are you ready? Read on to check out some of the most surprising facts about colds and flus.

You can monitor outbreaks in your area through the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


1. Fact: If There’s Only One Thing You Can Do, It’s this.

Don’t want to get sick this year? Your best defense is regularly and thoroughly washing your hands. You should be spending at least 20 seconds rubbing your hands. For more information, click here.



2. Fact: Exercise Can Prevent Colds and Flus.

Regular physical activity actually boosts your immune system, which can shorten the time you’re sick, and even prevent you from getting sick all together.



3. Fact: The Flu Can Be Very, Very Deadly.

In 1918 and 1919, about 3-5% of the world’s population, roughly 50 million people,  died from the so-called “Spanish flu.” That’s more people than died in any of the 20th century’s wars, and is likely the most deadly pandemic in human history. Yes, this is an extreme example, but even in the mildest of flu seasons, thousands of people die. In the past 30 or so years, the death toll in the United States has ranged from 3,000 to 49,000 people.



4. Fact: The Cold Virus Can Travel Up to 6 Feet.

If you’re around a person that has a cold or flu, try to stand at least 6 feet away from them. That’s how far the virus can travel from an infected person.


5. Fact: There’s a Right Way to Blow Your Nose.

No, really: to get relief for your stuffy nose, press down on one nostril and gently blow the other nostril. Otherwise, you could make your congestion worse and even give yourself an earache.



6. Fact: You Can Still Get the Flu if You Get a Flu Shot.

Yep, you certainly can still get the flu after you’ve gotten a flu shot — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother getting a shot all together if you otherwise can.For more on this, read the CDC’s helpful guide.


7. Fact: Some Home Remedies Really Do Work.

The jury is still out on Vitamin C, echinacea, and other cold and flu treatments, but what has been proven to work, for a few different reasons, is eating plenty of soups (chicken and otherwise). Also, drinking tea will keep you hydrated and, some research suggests, reduce inflammation.

Grandma’s Healing Soup Recipe

Read more: Children, Cold and Flu, Conditions, Family, Fitness, General Health, Health, News & Issues, , , , , , ,

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
9:38PM PST on Feb 23, 2014

Thank-you for posting this informative article. I'm not sold on getting an annual flu shot. Viruses don't always replicate & tolerate mutations well as they reproduce. In humans, such mutations can be physically obvious, IE: lack of a limb, no digits on hands or feet, etc. By the time one gets a flu shot the virus may not be the same.

7:33PM PST on Feb 12, 2014

Thank you.

2:44AM PST on Feb 12, 2014

Thank you

4:39PM PST on Jan 11, 2014

I had a heart attack and just got out of the hospital Wednesday. My husband & I had a huge fight because he threw away all my cigarettes. Lots of screaming and crying!!
When I woke up this morning, I can't breathe because of the congestion in my nose. I tried the right way to blow and it actually works, for a few seconds.
My husband made me some soup and I am drinking lots of coffee and tea. I'd still rather have a cigarette!!
So far, 2014 sucks

1:32AM PST on Dec 27, 2013

Our recreation centre normally has the heat turned up high, but almost worse than that the over-powering Chlorine smell from the pool almost knocks one over as one enters.
I wonder what affect that strong Chlorine has on one's lungs?

12:03PM PST on Dec 12, 2013

So true. I hate being and getting sick.

1:31PM PST on Nov 26, 2013

thef flu sucks

7:29PM PST on Nov 22, 2013

For some reason I haven't had a cold or flu for many years. I'm so thankful for this, as I know it can be miserable. I also haven't gotten sick with such things as a stomach virus and more. I only have to see my doctor for a yearly checkup.
I agree with washing hands often, especially after going shopping and don't shake hands with anyone, you will get germs. Just be polite and say "sorry but I don't want to spread my germs to you", even if it's the other way around.

12:59PM PST on Nov 19, 2013

Make a "Flu-Brew" using fresh ginger, cloves & honey in boiling water left to brew for 5 mins, then add fresh lemon juice. Black pepper can be used instead of/aswell as the ginger or at this time of year, steep a mulled wine sachet in hotwater & add honey to taste. Better than Lemsip & take 2 paracetamol with it if feverish.

11:24PM PST on Nov 17, 2013

Nice one

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