File this in the “news you’d hear if it weren’t for politics” file.
At a conference on infectious diseases today, University of Virginia researchers released a study of the common places where people pick up colds.
The researchers started with 30 adults with early symptoms of colds and retraced the things they touched in the previous 18 hours, using DNA tests to hunt for rhinovirus, which causes about half of all colds.
“We found that commonly touched areas like refrigerator doors and handles were positive about 40 percent of the time” for cold germs, said Dr. Birgit Winther, an ear, nose and throat specialist who helped conduct the study.
The researchers also figured out that a person touching these items could catch the cold virus even if it had been 48 hours since the person transmitting the cold had touched them. This, apparently, is not true for the flu virus.
Why can’t we cure the common cold? The Buffalo News has a sensational article analyzing that today. The short answer? There’s too many viruses. Another answer: Viruses are smarter than we are. For example, the reason a cold isn’t more severe than it is is because the virus needs you to walk around infecting other people