This kind of cold shouldn’t be ignored…

As the temperature starts to drop, more and more students can be found blowing their noses in class or coughing in the hallway. There are over 200 viruses that cause a cold, and many BSM students find it difficult to prevent the seemingly inevitable spread of this illness.


Bella Szarzynski

Emergen C is a vitamin supplement often used for cold prevention.

Emily Anderson, Staff Writer

How do I know that I have a cold?

The Mayo Clinic states that common symptoms arrive within a few days and include the following: a runny or stuffy nose, itchy or sore throat, cough, congestion, slight body aches or a mild headache, sneezing, watery eyes, low-grade fever, and/or mild fatigue.

Healthy habits for prevention:

There are many simple methods of prevention to keep the rhinovirus at bay. Washing hands in warm soapy water for twenty seconds after sneezing or before eating is an easy yet effective way to prevent the germs. Avoid sharing drinks, touching any part of the face, and lacking enough sleep. School nurse, Sharon Ingalls, says reverting back to old fashioned methods can help the most with cold prevention. “Methods for preventing the cold really haven’t changed over the years. Use common sense by washing hands, avoid coughing and sneezing into hands and into the elbow instead, and wash hands after blowing the nose. Try to avoid touching your face [because] obviously we can’t keep surfaces in the school germ-free,” Ingalls said.

Furthermore, studies have shown that the immune system weakens when stress levels increase. To reduce stress, try meditation or yoga. Many students, including sophomore Marit Gulbrandson, use their wellness hours to their advantage by meditating. “I fall asleep when I am doing meditation. I definitely don’t get enough sleep at home. I have engineering before, which is a stressful class, so meditation calms me down and helps me relax for the rest of the day,” Gulbrandson said.

Natural immunity boosters:

A healthy diet is vital in fending off viruses. Digesting foods with fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin E, and other vitamins and nutrients is a lesser known way that can help prevent getting a cold. According to Dr. Oz, there are also other natural immunity boosters that can help to prepare your immune system to fight off sickness.

One type of remedy is sage, which is an herb that clears the mucus out of the respiratory tract. Ginger eliminates toxins in the lungs and sinuses. Mushrooms, another cold fighter, are high in antioxidants so they prevent illnesses by neutralizing free radicals that cause aging and viruses like the flu. Other superfoods are fish, garlic, yogurt, leafy greens, and blueberries, according to Fox News Magazine.

Now I have a cold…so how do I get rid of it fast?

Rather than taking anti-inflammatory medications and cough drops, try having fluids like chicken soup, orange juice, or special teas that can relieve throat pains. Many of these liquids contain electrolytes, an important element in rapid recovery that help with cell energy and regulation of bodily fluids. Stay away from caffeinated drinks such as coffee, soda, and energy drinks that have a risk of dehydration and slow recovery time. One essential step to recovery and preventing other sicknesses is getting extra sleep––recommended 9-10 hours by either going to sleep earlier or taking a nap. “When you have a cold, get enough sleep, try and eat really sound, nutritious meals, and [drink] lots of fluids. Treat yourself nicely [with] comforting things; both tea and honey and honey and lemon juice in warm water are soothing for a sore throat,” health aide Ingalls said.

How to relieve congested sinuses:

There are a few choices for congested sinuses: saline nasal sprays and drops, Neti Pots, or humidifiers. The saline sprays and drops and the Neti Pots clear out the nose and surrounding sinuses when used correctly. A humidifier helps with stuffiness because viruses only do well in dry conditions. Instead of spending money to fix stuffy sinuses, sit in a steamy room for 5-10 minutes. Another simple way to drain sinuses is to sleep, where the head is elevated.

How to relieve a sore throat/other supplements:

Gargling with a saltwater solution is an easy trick to relieve throat scratchiness or pain. Other supplements that are proven to heal colds are vitamin C, echinacea, and zinc, which reduce the length and severity of cold symptoms. Students, like sophomore Tyler Metz, find it easiest to use cough drops and when fighting a cold. “I take cough drops and Cold EEZE that contain zinc that helps with strengthening the immune system,” Metz said.

Many students think that getting a cold is an inevitable part of fall and winter, but there are many defenses to prevent and quickly heal from the common sickness.