Talk:Common cold

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Good articleCommon cold has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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June 24, 2007Good article reassessmentDelisted
January 12, 2008Good article nomineeNot listed
December 29, 2011Good article nomineeListed
Current status: Good article
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GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Common cold/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: MathewTownsend (talk · contribs) 21:28, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

  • "While a cough and a fever indicate a higher likelihood of influenza in adults, there is a great deal of similarity between these two conditions" - different viruses? (Maybe could say a little more about the difference?)
  • "it may also be related to changes in the respiratory system that results in greater susceptibility" - can this be explained more?
  • "This is believed to be due primarily to increased time spent indoors,..." - is there a way of getting rid of the passive voice? (There are other examples also.)
  • Herd immunity - Doesn't this apply to the prevalence of vaccinations? is there a vaccination for the cold?
No, it does not apply only to vaccine-derived immunity, but naturally acquired immunity too. (See; Fine P, Eames K, Heymann DL (2011). ""Herd immunity": a rough guide". Clinical Infectious Diseases : an Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. 52 (7): 911–6. doi:10.1093/cid/cir007. PMID 21427399. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)). Graham Colm (talk) 21:41, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps the text in the link Herd immunity is misleading? It's under the general category of "Cause", so the impression is that people herded together cause the spread of the cold virus, when the opposite is meant if the link is actually read.— Preceding unsigned comment added by MathewTownsend (talkcontribs)
I am not sure if my clarification helped.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:59, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

::::Perhaps the text in the link Herd immunity is misleading? It's under the general category of "Cause", so the impression is that people herded together cause the spread of the cold virus, when the opposite is meant if the link is actually read. Fixed I see.

  • Yes it did. We got caught in an edit conflict.
  • "regarding BTA-798" - what is BTA-798? - could "regarding" be changed to "to"?

MathewTownsend (talk) 21:28, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

GA review-see WP:WIAGA for criteria (and here for what they are not)

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose: clear and concise, correct spelling and grammar:
    B. Complies with MoS for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. Provides references to all sources:
    B. Provides in-line citations from reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Main aspects are addressed:
    B. Remains focused:
  4. Does it follow the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
  • A very informative and helpful article. (Even though I don't get colds, everyone around me does!) Good work! Congratulations! MathewTownsend (talk) 23:03, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

The article says "The primary method of prevention is by hand washing". I don't know if this means I can prevent other people catching my cold if I wash my hands, or if it means other people can stop themselves catching my cold if they wash their hands, or if it means I can prevent myself catching other people's colds if I wash my hands. Or does it mean I can prevent the symptoms getting very bad, after I catch a cold, by washing my hands? (talk) 22:12, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Not a reliable source[edit]

I tried the following edit: [1].

It was reverted with the reason that it's not a reliable source.

  • It references a number of other studies on the matter. It's thus not a primary source but a secondary source on those studies. And as it's a study only stating one simple thing about hot drinks, any of the 22 citations will satisfy the secondary sourcing of this study as well. Is that is what is then needed?
  • The other author is Ronald Eccles. Eccles is referenced by this article about 70 times. He is a fairly reliable source on the topic. Eccles was also interviewed for a BBC article concerning the study. The interview was removed, understandably.
  • The journal is Rhinology. This article features studies from journals such as Urologic nursing and The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, so it's not a question of limiting it just to the top echelon of journals.
  • The study itself has been cited 22 times. Again we could limit it to the top echelon of times cited (in the hundreds), but the article is fine with studies in this range and lower.

So, what exactly is the problem again? Concerning the claim that hot drinks may aid, if you happen to suffer from the common cold? Mr. Magoo (talk) 20:22, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

The cited paper was primary research from 2008. Please see WP:MEDRS and maybe WP:WHYMEDRS for background for an explanation of secondary sourcing. Alexbrn (talk) 20:31, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
It seems you didn't bother to read the few lines I wrote. If I reference anything that cites the paper and the claim, it then is a reliable source? Also, as I pointed to Doc James on my talk, this article uses primary sources heartily. That also is not a barrier to entry at this article. Mr. Magoo (talk) 20:41, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
If the article is bad, that's no reason to make it worse adding unreliable sources. I have given links that explain what are considered reliable sources for WP:Biomedical information. We generally don't use the "secondary" bits of primary sources because they are often slanted to serve to purpose of the primary research they are attached to. We use WP:MEDRS instead. Alexbrn (talk) 20:45, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
The article isn't bad. Excessive source-gating is bad. The links you posted lead to extremely vague general guidelines that can be interpreted any way you want and even claim so themselves. Am I then supposed to interpret them in my favor? Is that what you are stating? Mr. Magoo (talk) 20:49, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Also see WP:DE. Alexbrn (talk) 20:52, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Posting that link is pretty much just a personal insult. Mr. Magoo (talk) 20:54, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

Cold weather[edit]

Cold weather is at least indirectly related to the common cold. So not really a misconception. More complicated than that. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:43, 18 April 2019 (UTC)

The sources call it a misconception. I think it's reasonable to say that there is a misconception in that it's the direct cause, or has more of an effect than it does. Benjamin (talk) 21:04, 18 April 2019 (UTC)
What do you think? Does a misconception necessarily have to be a black and white issue? I don't think so. The sources don't think so. Benjamin (talk) 01:42, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
NHS says "The common cold is much more frequent in winter months, a trend that is seen in all countries of the Northern Hemisphere. Rhinovirus, the most common cause, shows peaks of activity in late autumn and early spring"
Thus it is clear that colds occur more commonly in cold weather... There is limited evidence that the traditional belief that chilling increases the likelihood of the cold may have some basis in reality."
So it may not be a misconception. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:59, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
As I said, does it have to be such a black and white issue? If the common misconception is just slightly true, but mostly wrong, does that mean it's not a misconception at all? Benjamin (talk) 05:07, 26 April 2019 (UTC)

This sources are poor

  • Primary source from 2011 [2]
  • Primary source from 1983 [3]
  • Same source as above... [4]
  • User contributed site [5]
  • Blog [6]
  • Blog [7]

Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:52, 26 April 2019 (UTC)

Could you elaborate? The claim about the prevalence of the misconception isn't a medical claim like the underlying medical facts, so doesn't require MEDRS. What sort of source would you expect? Generally, scholarly work focuses on the underlying facts themselves, rather than the relative prominence of misconceptions. Benjamin (talk) 04:56, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
But it may not be a misconception. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:00, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
Some people think chilling (e.g. cold showers) decreases the chance of getting a cold. Both views aren't supported by good evidence. I think "misconception" is a tad strong. Alexbrn (talk) 05:07, 26 April 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 8 October 2019[edit]

I would like to add the line:

Sleep can help rid the common cold quicker because it allows the immune system to rejuvenate and battle viruses and infections.

After the sentence:

Insufficient sleep and malnutrition have been associated with a greater risk of developing infection following rhinovirus exposure; this is believed to be due to their effects on immune function.

The reference citation is:

[1] Crockbar (talk) 04:04, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

That is not a suitable reference for medical claims. If you find a source compliant with WP:MEDRS that says this, then please bring it here. Thank you. TylerDurden8823 (talk) 04:12, 8 October 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Does Sleep Help A Cold? Know Why And How Sleep Impacts Your Health". Calming Journey. Retrieved 8 October 2019.

Semi-protected edit request on 7 April 2020[edit]

I don't know how to format this, and since it's locked, you'll have to check

Due to ongoing COVID-19 research, change recommendation of "Ibuprofen" to "" and/or "acetaminophen/Advil/Motrin" (EU / USA naming conventions)

Go research it yourself, but sources are mixed; doctors in Vienna are seeing Ibuprofen in most of the dead, so there's that. DO YOU WANT PEOPLE DEAD BECAUSE WIKIPEDIA WAS WRONG? (talk) 05:31, 7 April 2020 (UTC)

 Not done: see WP:MEDRS. Also this is for the common cold, which is not COVID19 Cannolis (talk) 06:28, 7 April 2020 (UTC)