Can you catch a cold from going outside with a wet head? For how many days is a cold contagious? Test your knowledge of the common cold with our Everwell Challenge.
Read the full transcript »
Host: Colds, everyone gets them but no one wants them. How much do you know about keeping sniffles and sneezes away? Stay along with our everwell challenge and find out. Okay, question number one, you're most likely to catch a cold if you A) go out in cold weather with a wet head; B) kiss someone who has a cold; C) shake hands with someone who has a cold. Female Speaker: It's B and C, but I guess B, if I had to pick one, kiss someone. Male Speaker: Go out in a weather with a wet head. Male Speaker: Shake hands with someone who has a cold. Host: For the correct answer we turn to infectious disease expert Dr. Eileen Schneider. Dr. Eileen Schneider: The answer is C shake hands with someone who may have a cold. Female Speaker: Okay, because you are touching. Dr. Eileen Schneider: And that's mostly because a lot of times viruses get on environmental surfaces including hands and skin, and sometimes it can survive for a long period of time, and then once you touch your eyes -- any mucus membrane like your eyes or nose or mouth then you have an increase risk of getting cold. Host: Research has failed to prove you can catch a cold just from going outside with a wet head as for kissing. Dr. Eileen Schneider: Kissing someone who has a cold also would put you at risk that's just that you're probably less likely than if you were to touch a surface, which would be contaminated with the virus. Host: That's why it's so important to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water to lower the risk of spreading a cold virus. And what exactly you're washing away leads to our second question. True or False, there are three types of cold viruses. Female Speaker: False, I think there is two. Male Speaker: I'd say false. Female Speaker: Probably true. Female Speaker: Probably true. Male Speaker: False, there are lot more than that. Host: Yup, he is right. Dr. Eileen Schneider: There are more than 200 known viruses to cause common cold. Some could be very mild, they could last just a few days and some could be much more serious. Female Speaker: I'm really bad at this. Host: Okay try this one. When is a cold most contagious? Male Speaker: Probably early stage of it. Male Speaker: When you have a fever. Male Speaker: I would say within the first 24 hours. Dr. Eileen Schneider: Usually it's in the first two to four days after developing symptoms. So if someone knows that they are developing symptoms of a common cold they should let people know that they can be contagious. Host: Here's the one you've probably heard stress can increase your susceptibility to colds. Is it true or false? Female Speaker: True. Male Speaker: True, no, false, I mean false. Female Speaker: True. It increases susceptibility to everything. Host: How do you know that? Female Speaker: I'm in law school so been stressed out the last three years. Dr. Eileen Schneider: That's true because when you are ever under stress whether it's stress from work or stress from being outside or physical stress, it just weakens your body host immune defenses and puts you in a greater risk of developing infections in general. Host: So how you're doing so far? Male Speaker: I've been zero on that. Host: Hang in there we have one last question. When someone with a cold sneezes about how many feet can the germs travel? Male Speaker: Wow! I would say at least five feet. Male Speaker: 30, 40, 50 feet. Male Speaker: I don't think there is an actual limit. Male Speaker: A football field, I don't know. Dr. Eileen Schneider: They can travel quite far. In some studies, have been shown to be 12 feet and that's a long distance. Male Speaker: 12 feet? Okay. Host: And to avoid virus particles in the droplets of a sneeze be sure to duck, right? Dr. Eileen Schneider: I think it's more so for the people with the cold to be aware of this so they can cover up when they do anticipate a sneeze and more so than the person trying to jump away from the sneeze that's probably virtually impossible. Host: So did our challenge blow y
Copyright © 2005 - 2014 Healthline Networks, Inc. All rights reserved for Healthline.