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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines


This year, researchers got one step closer to curing the common cold. More trials are planned but, meanwhile, there’s plenty we can already do to limit the damage…


Words Laura Potter. Photograph Alamy. All products

My throat has that tell-tale scratch – why?

‘There are at least 200 different common cold viruses and they’re constantly evolving,’ says Professor Ron Eccles, director and founder of the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University. ‘There are also around half a dozen flu viruses in circulation at any time. When we catch a cold – for example, from a droplet of sneezed mucus – a virus lodges at the back of the throat, or back of the nose. The incubation period is usually around two days, and typical first symptoms are a dry, scratchy sensation in the throat.’ From that point, the virus starts to replicate inside more and more cells, spreading across the lining of the nose. Your body reacts, producing millions of white blood cells to attack the virus, and they appear in the mucus, which turns from clear to yellow and green ‘snot’ as more cells gather. ‘The same virus is responsible for coughs, it’s just moved down to the larynx and windpipe,’ explains Eccles.

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Keep a cool head with our calm Christmas issue! Inside, you’ll find expert-approved tips on surviving the stresses of the festive period and morning after hacks to treat both a booze and beauty hangover. We investigate the power of winter workouts, discover how you can reclaim your sex drive, and TV Chef Gizzi Erskine tells us why it’s OK not to feel body positive all the time. Plus, our veggie festive food special is crammed with all you need to eat, drink and still be merry come the Big Day. Find all this and more in the brand new issue of Healthy!