Dispelling the most common myths on why we get sick

Ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Hollin Calloway says for the past four to six weeks she’s seen an uptick in patients coming in with the common cold. While the viral infection can be harmless, symptoms can sometimes be hard to deal with, and Collaway says you have a little more than a week to self-medicate with over-the-counter medicine.

“I would say if you’re still having symptoms that are that bad after 10 days, then you probably should go and see a doctor and get an antibiotic,” said Calloway.

But instead of getting treated by a medical professional, some still rely on advice passed down to us from moms or grandmothers. You know the old wives’ tales of how getting plenty of vitamin C will cure the cold you caught by going outside with your hair wet.

When asked if you can get a cold from going out in the cold, Secaucus resident Maria Rivera said, “I believe so, absolutely, probably.”

Calloway says think again.

“A lot of people say that going outside in the cold makes them catch a cold. That, I would say there’s not a lot of really strong substantial evidence for that. However, there has been research that has been shown that some viruses, such as the flu and upper-respiratory viruses, do tend to flourish better in a cooler environment,” she said.

If you go out with your hair wet, you will get sick?

“Going outside with your hair wet does not cause a cold,” Calloway said.

Can you can get your pet sick? Calloway says no.

“You cannot pass the flu to your cat or you pet, absolutely not. That’s hilarious.”

Will taking a lot of vitamin C prevent you from getting sick?

“So a lot people think that taking vitamin C in very large quantities can make you get better quickly. The body can only absorb a certain mount of vitamin C per day. It’s good to take a multivitamin, but that’s not going to cure a cold,” Calloway said.

Collaway says what will help cure a cold is getting a good night’s sleep and going to the doctor if you are still sick after 10 days. She also says the best way to prevent getting sick is to make sure you wash your hands with warm water and soap and wiping down an area where a sick relative or co-worker may have been sitting