How to Prevent the Common Cold

Avoid / Cure A Cold Fast

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Immunity and Vaccination

Immunity (the ability to resist infection based on mobilization of the immune system) to many diseases can result from a prior infection of the same agent. Getting the measles, for example, protects the host from being infected again later. Thus, a person can contract many diseases only once. Colds and influenza, on the other hand, stem from viruses that continue to produce new strains that avoid the body's predeveloped defenses, so that they may be contracted repeatedly. Prior exposure also does not protect against many microbial toxins, such as those involved in botulism food poisoning or against some parasitic infections, such as schistosomiasis, tapeworm, and athlete's foot.

Antibiotic misuse and the emergence of resistance

Common colds - acute inflammatory changes, mostly mediated by viruses, anywhere along the continuum of the upper respiratory tract - lead to 110 million outpatient visits and cost an estimated 40 billion annually in the US. On average, common colds afflict each US adult 2.2 times per year, and child 3 times per year (Fendrick et al., 2003). Despite the fact that viruses cause 90 percent of these maladies, physicians regularly prescribe antibacterial agents to treat acute upper respiratory tract infections (URIs). Figure 9.9 Primary care office visits and antibiotic prescriptions for acute respiratory illnesses in the United States. Reproduced from Gonzalez et al. (2001), with permission. Figure 9.9 Primary care office visits and antibiotic prescriptions for acute respiratory illnesses in the United States. Reproduced from Gonzalez et al. (2001), with permission. The recognition that inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for URIs has contributed to the global emergence of antibiotic...

Factors affecting microparasite population biology

The two basic modes of transmission are (i) vertical, in which the disease is passed from mother to offspring (cytomegalovirus and hepatitis B virus) and (ii) horizontal, in which diseases are passed from one individual to another in the environment. Most infections disease organisms are passed through the horizontal method, although some disease organisms can be passed both vertically and horizontally (hepatitis B). These include direct and indirect transmission. Direct transmission includes (i) close-contact diseases (common cold, influenza, measles) (ii) sexual-contact diseases (hepatitis B virus, HIV, syphilis) and (iii) contaminative-contact diseases (cholera, tetanus, typhoid). Indirect-contact diseases include those that involve transmission from one animal host to another (malaria, rabies, Lyme disease, or the plague) or via needles (HIV or hepatitis B). Human and animal borne or transmitted diseases have been the hardest to control, just as macroparasitic diseases with...

Epidemiologic settings

The contrast between networks describing sexual partnerships and more general social contact networks is particularly pronounced. It is instructive to look at some of these differences as they highlight many important aspects of network structure. The number of sexual partnerships is dwarfed by the number of social contacts in a population. An STI has far fewer chances to spread than an infection such as the common cold. Furthermore, since most individuals are monogamous (i.e. have only one sexual partner over a given time period), a large part of a sexual network consists of isolated pairs of individuals. Sexual networks often exhibit a high

Vertical life table See life table

Virus An extremely small infectious agent that causes a variety of diseases in plants and animals, such as smallpox, the common cold, and tobacco mosaic disease. Viruses can reproduce only in living tissues outside the living cell they exist as inactive particles consisting of a core of DNA or RNA surrounded by a protein coat. Most plant viruses are single-stranded RNA viruses. The inert extracellular form of the virus, termed a virion, penetrates the host membrane and liberates the viral nucleic acid into the cell. Usually, the nucleic acid is translated by the host cell ribosomes to produce enzymes necessary for the reproduction of the virus and the formation of daughter virions. The virions are released by lysis (bursting) of the host cell. Plant viruses are transmitted by vectors such as aphids and nematodes. A virus that infects a bacterium is termed a bacteriophage (phage). Some viruses are associated with the formation of tumors.

Viruses Role in Disease

The word virus comes from the Latin meaning poison, the result of the pathological and sometimes lethal outcomes of viral infections. Although microbiology has been dominated by the attempt to root out disease, healthy organisms are characterized not by their biological purity but by the ecological harmony of the cells that compose them. Organisms that invade and kill their hosts also ruin their environment, and are thus selected against in evolution. The same logic applies to viruses although infamous for their role in diseases such as colds, herpes, measles, mumps, influenza, polio, smallpox, hepatitis, and human papilloma viruses (HPVs) and AIDS (HIV), most viruses go unnoticed because they cause no harm. A virus that multiplies too rapidly say, by killing its hosts before they can reproduce also destroys itself. Thus, over the vast reaches of evolutionary time, viruses that either do no damage, or less-than-fatal damage, have been the ones to survive. Because a given virus makes...

Impacts of industry

It is the recognition of these negative impacts of industrial pollutants on the environment that led to significant advances in the protection of both human health and environmental health from the effects of pollution since the industrial revolution. If we take air pollution as an example, then we can see that over time changes in legislation and critically the Clean Air Act of 1956 have acted to both reduce the incidences of respiratory illness and to significantly reduce the concentrations of sulphur in the air, resulting in re-establishment of clean air ecology (particularly lichens) in many previously affected areas (Chapter 3). Equivalent legislative changes for freshwaters and soils have also been implemented with the focus mainly on the protection of human health. However, in recent years there has been a change in emphasis within developed countries to also consider ecological health, as the importance of the function of ecosystems in the health of the human environment has...

Hazards

The temperature can drop rapidly after sunset, and arid environments dry out the nasal passages, increasing the risk of head and chest colds. Always wear warm clothing at night. If physical activity and travel is restricted to the nighttime hours, this will also help to keep the body warm.

Respiratory System

The upper respiratory system includes the nose and nasal cavity, the nasal sinuses, and the pharynx. The sinuses are open chambers in the face, connected to the nasal cavity by passages. Their function is to lighten the head, add timbre to the voice, and to produce mucus to moisten and lubricate the surfaces of the nasal cavity. Air passing through the nasal cavity is warmed, humidified, and filtered of large particles. The pharynx is the part of the respiratory system shared with the digestive system, extending from the back of the mouth down to the larynx.