Week of:
Nov 03, 2017

Cold won't go away

Dear Alice,

I have been under quite a bit of stress lately and cannot seem to shake a cough and swollen gland. Every time I start to feel better, it starts all over again. Also, I hate to admit this, but I smoke. Do you think the stress has anything to do with the long period of time I seem to have had this "cold"? It's been going on about two months.

When are colds contagious?

Dear Alice,

When is a person with a cold contagious? A couple of friends, who are put off when I keep my distance from their sneezing and coughing, insist one is only contagious a week or so before symptoms appear. In the back of my memory is the idea that one remains contagious until a few days *after* primary symptoms disappear. I'm not usually so concerned about this, but I'm coping with a couple of other annoying health problems and want to try to avoid adding a cold or flu, to boot. I do the usual things news shows recommend — eat well, wash hands frequently. But when should one avoid others who have colds, or when should one stay isolated at home when one has a cold (or flu)?

Yours,
Healthy and wanting to stay that way

Wet head: Can going out with one make you sick?

Dear Alice,

Do you increase your risk of becoming ill by going outside into the cold with a wet head? This would seem like an old wives' tale... how could the cold weather make you ill? The only "logic" I can see is that this would lower your body temperature (from the water evaporating off your head) and this would lower your resistance to infection.

— Cold and wet

Cold pill coma (DXM)

Dear Alice,

I had a recent near death experience on a cough and cold remedy pill called Coricidin. Friends and I used it as a quick trip. I know people that have had their eyeballs bleed out and go into comas from tripping off this pill, and I also about died. I have found stuff on the net about this and its dangers. It's called the "poor man's ecstasy" and it's a dangerous medication to have on the shelves. If they know it's that dangerous, then why do they keep selling it? I am worried about the lives of many young teens like myself that are going to die or end up in a coma.