I realize that this may seem premature – it is only early October, but I am sitting at the Reference desk surrounded by people (staff and patrons alike) coughing, sneezing, and just generally feeling awful. For those of you already suffering I hope you feel better soon (that’s not medical advice – just me wishing you well), and for those who aren’t yet affected there’s a really good chance that a cold is headed in your direction.

General Information

The Mayo Clinic  and MedlinePlus have information on the common cold including causes, complications, preparing for your doctor appointment, treatment, alternative medicine, home remedies and prevention.

Antibiotics are not effective for the treatment of the common cold.  The CDC has a campaign to help prevent the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work.

Workplace Sickness Etiquette

Simmons College has produced an informational brochure with valuable advice for Cold and Flu Prevention in the Workplace.

WebMD offers advice on making the decision to go to work or stay at home – see if you are “Too Sick to Work.”

Do you need to use antibacterial soap?

According to an article from WebMd – “Plain Soap as Good as Antibacterial, Researchers Say Regular Soaps Kills Germs as Well as Antibacterial Soap”.

According to a recent New York Times article  “Antibacterial Chemical Raises Safety Issues” the CDC has raised concerns about the development of resistance in bacteria due to the use of Triclosan in certain consumer products.

Final thoughts

What to do to prevent the spread of a cold

  • Cough into your elbow and always cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash your hands after using and throwing away tissues.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • When you don’t have access to soap and water use an alcohol based hand cleaner.
  • Clean your workplace surfaces such as keyboards, phones and desktops.

 If you won’t listen to me perhaps you’ll listen to Elmo.

What to do to feel better when you have a cold

  • If you get sick, stay at home if you can
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid stress (I know this is difficult if you’ve had to call in sick, but try to remember your colleagues will appreciate your thoughtfulness.)

Books from our collection that might be of interest

Good luck and be well!

posted by – Susan, Health Reference Services

This entry was posted in Antibacterial Soap, Colds, Common Cold, Hand washing, Triclosan, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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