Amazing Kids! Magazine

Sneezes and Chills

By Jessica Johnson, Contributing Writer

 

It’s that time of year again! You’ve got a runny nose, itchy throat, headache, and you’re carrying cough drops and a box of tissues around. Since most of us get the cold or flu during the winter season or when the temperature drops, we usually think that we get sick from being underdressed, or drinking cold fluids. However, this is not true. We get sick when it’s cold because many viruses live out better in cold weather. During the winter we often all crowd together inside which gives viruses a better opportunity to spread around. When you sneeze or cough, particles are sent out into the air and spread to others.

Viruses are not like human cells or bacteria. They do not have the enzymes that are important to carry out chemical reactions for life. Viruses only carry one or two enzymes to decode their genetic instructions. This is why a virus must have a host cell which basically means a plant, animal, or bacteria to live in. This way they can make more viruses. Many scientists agree that viruses live because of what happens when they infect a host cell. Most of us think that antibiotics are the cure, yet when taking antibiotics people don’t usually take the full cycle of their medication, meaning that the virus is still alive and has not been fought off.  Viruses soon start to be immune to all these antibiotics and end up becoming stronger. This is why doctors do not recommend the intake of antibiotics unless the virus you are dealing with is serious. It’s best to let your body fight off the virus by itself.

Getting the seasonal flu shot is one of the ways in which to prevent a cold or flu. Scientists predict which virus will be the most common yearly and create a vaccine to try to make our bodies more immune to these popular viruses. Bacteria spread when you touch your nose, mouth, or eyes so it’s best to keep your hands away from your face. Washing your hands often will also slow the spread of these viruses. Last but not least make sure to get lots of rest and drink lots of fluids, you’ll be feeling better in no time.