Style & ShowbizHealth

Stave off summer sniffles

HealthBy Sunday World
Stave off summer sniffles

If you've got the sniffles in spring it has to be hay fever, right? Well, maybe not, as summer colds are far more frequent than most people realise.

While you might associate coughing and sneezing on your commute to work with the chillier months, research by ColdZyme shows 30 to 50 per cent of colds are caused by rhinoviruses (the most common viral infectious agents in humans and the predominant cause of the common cold), which are most active in the spring, summer, and early autumn.

If that wasn't bad enough, the fact that it's a different virus means the symptoms can often be more violent (think aching muscles, fevers, dehydration) and it can last longer too - a couple of weeks as opposed to a few days.

So why are these rhinoviruses so common in summer? Well, the activities people engage in the warmer months can all help the spread. Air conditioning means breathing in recycled air, while travelling on planes and being more active can also put you at risk.

If you want to avoid summer colds, there are plenty of things you can do. For one, make sure you keep things hygienic. If you're spending more time in the gym, disinfect your hands afterwards and wash your kit at a high temperature.

Equally, if you're using public transport or planes with air-con, carry disinfecting hand gel and prep your body by taking 1000mg of vitamin C daily.

If all else fails and you are struck down by a summer cold this year, make sure you treat it right so it doesn't stop you from enjoying the sunshine for too long. Keeping hydrated is key, especially if it's hot.

Also consider taking a couple of days off work. Not only will it help your body recuperate, but you'll be less likely to pass it on to your colleagues in the air-conditioned office.

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