“Starve a Cold, Feed a Fever” And More Myths About How You Catch A Cold

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MYTH #4: You can sweat out a cold

Sweating out a cold isn’t going to happen. Piling on layers of sweaters while you’re lying miserable on the couch will do precisely one thing — make you sweaty. But bundling up has never been proven to flush a cold virus out of your system any faster. The common cold is caused by more than 200 different viruses that can take days or even weeks to leave your body. Since there’s no cure, you’re stuck waiting it out.

MYTH #5: Echinacea kills the cold virus

A study published in the Annals (heh heh) of Internal Medicine tested more than 700 participants at the University of Wisconsin. And it showed that echinacea was no more effective than a placebo at shortening the length of a cold.

MYTH #6:
A flu shot can give you the flu

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention claims the vaccine can reduce the chances of a healthy person getting the flu by 70 percent to 90 percent. They don’t provide stats for how likely it is to get sick from the shot because it’s impossible — the vaccine contains only dead flu viruses. If you’re already infected when you get the shot — it can take up to 24 hours for symptoms to emerge — it’s not the vaccine’s fault. It was just bad timing.