What do you do about 'The common cold'?

My wife came into contact with someone who had a cold yesterday and who didn't have the decency to warn the others in the group (5 including my wife) that she had a bad cold. My wife came home quite worried about this. Hence my question, what are your experiences and suggestions about handling something a 'simple' as a cold.

Coincidentally I have to go to my GP today to have my blood pressure checked and will ask his advice. However, no offence to him, I believe, from a comment he made when I was first diagnosed there may be two or three others with CLL in the group practice so there is more experience here than locally (based on simple maths of numbers).


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  • Yes, last Saturday I had a similar situation.

    A group of us talking and then along comes another old friend who joined us and immediately started coughing and spluttering.. I moved away slightly and he moved closer saying he could not hear the conversation..!! I left on the pretence of going to the toilet, and when I re-joined the group I was as far away as I could possibly get from his coughing and sneezing..

    No easy answers, apart from making a big fuss, which then upsets or annoys the whole group.

    Luckily I did not appear to catch anything, but yes I was a bit worried. Perhaps the flu jab helped…


  • Like Kwenda, I move away if possible, but I always wear my personal ionizer if I'm out and about at this time of year, and always carry antibacterial wipes and gel.

    At home I have throat sprays and lozengers that I use if I suspect a sore throat developing, cough syrup etc, and this year I'm going to try - Sambucol black elderberry cold & flu relief.

    As the weather is usually cold damp/wet now here up here in Scotland, I think that it is important to keep warm, so I wouldn't be without my Canterbury base layer clothing. Even though I'm more or less housebound it's still base layers and fleeces, heat holder socks and slippers.

    Other than that, it's keep your fingers crossed and ..... AAITTiiiiSHHOOOOO ... damn, back to square one !

  • Hi Sometime I have to travel on the London Underground. I sometimes think its a micro cilment for germs of all sorts. Its a research project for a PHD student. Best wishes

  • The London Underground was a research project for a university a few years back.

    They took swabs of the hand holds all over the trains, and also the hand holds on the escalators. They started at 08.00 on a working morning and the scary thing was the huge amount of faecal bacteria located..!!

    So yes. the London Underground is not a healthy place.


  • The common cold is a viral infection, it is usually self limiting to about a week. It is different than the flu, influenza, and the flu jab does nothing for a cold...


    Immunocompromised patients need to monitor a cold closely, because it can open up the respiratory tract and airways to secondary, bacterial and fungal infections...

    In the even the cold is not subsiding in 4-5 days see your doctor... he may wish to run sputum tests to see if other things are going on...

    I drink a strong hot rum toddy and go to bed...

    Always wash your hands with soap and hot water...every time you enter the house...

    More >>>>> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commo...


  • I think this question has come up before but its a good one for this time of the year. I always wash my hands well under warm running water. Although not 100% as effective as washing, bactertial gels are essential to me. I use mine whenever I am out and about touching surfaces like door handles, hanging straps etc. Mainly I keep my hands away from my face unless they have just been washed.

    For the airbourne germs that bad mannered people have propelled into the air my only solution has been to use Vicks first defence when I have been in a crowd, on a bus, or shopping. And I repeat it at first symptoms of a cold. I keep strepsils, or similar to use at the first sign of a sore throat.

    There is no sure fire way of keeping safe other than maybe walling oneself up, but I look forward to hearing others avoiding tactics.


  • I keep wipes in my car and after wiping my hands wipe the door handle, steering wheel, and anything else I touch on a regular basis. I have excused myself from a group or situation,if someone is clearly sick, telling them that I am immune compromised. I would rather do that and hope that maybe the selfish sick person gets the message about contaminating others (I don't really expect them to) than stay and end up sick myself.

  • How many saw the recent report from the University of Cardiff Common Cold Centre? It has been widely reported - even reaching Australia!



    Here's a summary of ideas on 'how to heal a cough'


    I think I'll give my vote to Chocolate - I'll definitely be giving this a trial next cough!!

    "An ingredient in chocolate could help stop persistent coughs. Researchers have discovered that theobromine suppresses vagus nerve activity involved in causing coughing.

    According to research at Imperial College, theobromine is nearly a third more effective in stopping persistent coughs compared to codeine: "Not only did theobromine prove more effective than codeine, at the doses used it was found to have none of the side effects. Normally the effectiveness of any treatment is limited by the dosage you can give someone. With theobromine having no demonstrated side effects in this study it may be possible to give far bigger doses, further increasing its effectiveness,'' says Professor Maria Belvisi."

    Note in particular the comment from the University of Cardiff research centre on echinacea - While it might sometimes help people without CLL, it sounds like echinacea is a good remedy for us to avoid until we know more, given it may stimulate white blood cells!

    "There is some scientific evidence which indicates that echinacea does affect our immune system by stimulating the activity of white blood cells. Lozenges containing echinacea may help prevent infection by boosting the immune system and could in theory abort a common cold infection and prevent the development of symptoms.'' (See the Wikipedia reference in my reply to Quarry below, which summarises the uncertainty over whether echinacea is of any benefit for those without CLL. Perhaps further research may find the active ingredient(s) in echinacea and a controlled formulation that may be OK for us or maybe just some of us depending on our B-cell genetics, but for the moment, we just don't know enough.)

    There's lots of good information and advice from the University of Cardiff Common Cold centre:



  • Neil

    Ref your comment on Echinacea. Are you saying/did you mean to say we should avoid it? [or have I mis-interpreted?]

    I think the italics (?Cardiff quote) after say it is good! and is this not the compound in Green Tea that we should be taking?


  • I wondered when I wrote if if I was clear Andy, so I've revamped it thanks to your feedback. Regarding Green Tea and Echinacea, were you thinking of EGCG in green tea? EGCG is an acronym for the most significant phytochemical in green tea which is a polyphenol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate - so you can see why they shorten it to EGCG!

    According to Wikipedia, the active ingredients of Echinacea are polysaccharides, alkylamides and cichoric acid.


    By the way, how are you going?


  • Ah...thanks. I was referring to EGCG...all too complicated!!

    Hope the Ashes (beer) calibrations in full swing......

  • What, did we win? :)

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