Health worker take the classic approach to colds

January 10, 1999|By Jane E. Allen | Jane E. Allen,Los Angeles Times

You might think doctors and nurses have discovered some secret formula for fighting the misery-inducing common cold. Turns out, the classic prescriptions of rest, fluids and an over-the-counter pain reliever and fever-reducer like aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen topped medical staffers' personal choices in a survey of 43 medical workers by Dr. Kathi J. Kemper of Children's Hospital in Boston.

Other findings:

* 81 percent used some cold medication; 60 percent favored fever reducers, while a third used decongestants.

* Slightly fewer than half opted for vitamin C, although 62 percent said they were unsure of its helpfulness.

* Just over a third tried echinacea, but only a few felt it helped.

* A third sucked on zinc lozenges, although two zinc users reported nausea.

* Two-thirds liked the remedy of hot tea with honey and lemon.

* One-third liked the chicken-soup treatment.

* Nearly two-thirds try to get more rest.

* None treated their colds with antibiotics.

* 27 percent tried the power of positive thinking.

* 12 percent tried praying their way back to good health.

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