Telluride Inside… and Out is proud to feature the Telluride Medical Center’s MEDICAL MOMENT, a weekly column that answers common medical questions in pop culture. Have a question for the doctors? Click here to send.

This week, the Telluride Medical Center’s Christine Tealdi, a nationally certified physician’s assistant, answers the question:

Christine Tealdi, Nationally Certified Physician's Asst.

Christine Tealdi, Nationally Certified Physician’s Asst.

Can I stop a cold from spreading through my family?

Colds are known to pass from one family member to the next until your entire household has been sick for weeks. This can disrupt normal family life, causing missed school, time away from work, sleepless nights and short fuses

When your child or spouse comes home with a runny nose and cough, you can work to prevent it from dragging the entire household down by following these tips.  

1. Wash your hands. Washing your hands is the single most effective way to stop the spreading of colds. According to the CDC, about 80% of infectious diseases are spread by touch – cold germs get on the hands from there to the mouth and the eyes. If you keep everyone’s hands clean, they’ll be much less likely to get sick.

2. Practice a new habit: Cover your nose and mouth with the crook of your elbow (or a tissue!) when sneezing! The germs will be less likely to get on your hands and spread.

3. Disinfect. Cold germs can live on surfaces for hours. Consider disinfecting tabletops, doorknobs, faucets, toilet handles, telephones, remote controls and toys. Having disinfectant wipes like Clorox or Lysol around make it convenient to wipe down these items often.

4. Take care of yourself! Get plenty of rest. Drink plenty of water. Eat healthy foods. Reduce stress elves.

Colds are difficult to stop. Following these tips can help prevent the cycle of infection. Remember, by the time people are coughing, it might already be too late. People can be contagious before they show any symptoms, so try your best to promote these behaviors throughout the year to ward off those nasty germs.

Editor’s note: The Telluride Medical Center is the only 24-hour emergency facility within 65 miles. You can choose your own medical provider visit with a specialist or take advantage of their Mountain Skin Care services. As a mountain town in a challenging, remote environment, a thriving medical center is vital to our community’s health. For more Medical Moments on TIO, Click Here.


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