Talk:Common cold

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Good article Common 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.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
June 24, 2007 Good article reassessment Delisted
January 12, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed
December 29, 2011 Good article nominee Listed
Current status: Good article
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Medicine / Translation (Rated GA-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Medicine, which recommends that medicine-related articles follow the Manual of Style for medicine-related articles and that biomedical information in any article use high-quality medical sources. Please visit the project page for details or ask questions at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Translation task force (marked as Top-importance).
Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team / Vital (Rated GA-class)
WikiProject icon This article has been reviewed by the Version 1.0 Editorial Team.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the importance scale.
WikiProject Viruses (Rated GA-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Viruses, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of viruses on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
This article has been mentioned by a media organization:


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) ). 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
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)

Semi-protected edit request on 22 March 2016[edit]

I am an RN with 20 years experience, & have studied widely into health and nutrition. Susceptibility to colds & flus can be lessened by a healthy immune system & healthy teeth. Consume foods containing iron & minimum sugar (unless you are an iron retainer) A daily multivitamin (5mg iron), adequate protein, fresh vegetables & low sugar diet can help reduce the incidence of colds. If you DO get a cold - try to cut out all sugar. Increase salt & multivitamin intake. The vapour mist of essential oils, in a humidifier or at minimum heat in a pan of hot water at back of stove, or vapours inhaled from a cup of hot water, can help with the lungs & sinuses - lavender, eucalyptus etc. Elderberry extract is an ancient remedy that can cut the duration of a cold in half. (talk) 03:14, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

We base our content on references in well respected medical sources. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:48, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

Cough medicine[edit]

At present the article is extremely dismissive of cough medicines as a symptomatic treatment. While this may be true of OTC preparations without any real active ingredients, it seems pretty obvious that an antitussive such as codeine will suppress coughing, at least to an extent. I'm not a medical professional so won't modify the article myself, but it would be helpful if an expert editor could clarify it. --Ef80 (talk) 18:59, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

There is no evidence that codeine is safe or effective. In fact evidence in children is it is harmful with a fair number of deaths in children. So yes this article is rightfully dismissive. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:15, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
I am not suggesting that opioids are safe or appropriate, particularly for children, but they will certainly stop you coughing. In fact, if you take enough they will stop you breathing. --Ef80 (talk) 23:24, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
There have been no good studies of opioids for cough. Here is one review that comments on that for children [1]. And one for acute cough generally.[2] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:52, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Both those studies are Cochrane meta-analyses of OTC preparations and are not really relevant. However, I've been around WP for long enough to recognise a lost cause when I see one. Best wishes. --Ef80 (talk) 00:09, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
You have references to discuss? Codeine is OTC. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:44, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Reference 54 (Singh M) for zinc[edit]

The publication referenced for the section about zinc has been withdrawn by the journal it was published in.

It is not established that zinc may or may not help reduce the severity of the cold.

Link proving withdrawal — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:07, 3 November 2016 (UTC)


I am new to wikipedia editing, and noticed a new Cochrane review that would fit into this article (. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009612.pub2.  Missing or empty |title= (help)). This wikipedia article uses a 2007 Cochrane reference and states that "Other decongestants such as pseudoephedrine are effective in adults.[67]" under the Management- Symptomatic heading.

The 2016 article looked at decongestants used in monotherapy to see if they ease nasal congestion symptoms in people with colds. Quoting from the 2016 Cochrane article, the authors concluded that "We were unable to draw conclusions on the effectiveness of single-dose nasal decongestants due to the limited evidence available. For multiple doses of nasal decongestants, the current evidence suggests that these may have a small positive effect on subjective measures of nasal congestion in adults with the common cold. However, the clinical relevance of this small effect is unknown and there is insufficient good-quality evidence to draw any firm conclusions. Due to the small number of studies that used a topical nasal decongestant, we were also unable to draw conclusions on the effectiveness of oral versus topical decongestants. Nasal decongestants do not seem to increase the risk of adverse events in adults in the short term. The effectiveness and safety of nasal decongestants in children and the clinical relevance of their small effect in adults is yet to be determined." [1]

Does anyone have any suggestions on changes that should be made to the decongestants comment? I feel as though this is an important section of the article, given how many individuals are interested in using medication in order to alleviate cold and cold-like symptoms. Would it also be worth adding this article to the "Decongestant" and "pseudoephedrine" wikipedia pages?

I greatly appreciate feedback and comments. I am just learning how to edit wikipedia :) Thank you! JenOttawa (talk) 17:55, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea. How do you think we should paraphrase the Cochrane review? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:38, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
I think perhaps this is a case where we should exercise some editorial judgement. The effects of decongestants are so thoroughly understood that there is little interest in studying them; consequently there aren't many high-quality clinical trials to work with. If we treat that Cochrane review as the last word on the subject we run the risk of looking silly. Looie496 (talk) 18:02, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
We know a fair bit about rebound with decongestants.
This seems like a fair conclusions "For multiple doses of nasal decongestants, the current evidence suggests that these may have a small positive effect on subjective measures of nasal congestion in adults with the common cold."
Adjusted to [3] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:55, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate you doing the edit Doc James. How do you feel about adding in a sentence about use in children? "The safety and effectiveness of nasal decongestant use in children has not been proven clinically." from the same 2016 reference? [2] JenOttawa (talk) 12:59, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

Sounds good. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:02, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

Thanks again. I made the addition regarding children. Doc James, I like how you changed the wording of the sentence from "are" to "appear". Did you refrain from adding your summary of the new Cochrane Review in order to keep the text simple, and not overwhelm an individual reading it who does not have a medical background? Thanks for your help and support! What a terrific community! JenOttawa (talk) 17:38, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

I took a look at the Pseudoephrine page, and there is a place for my sentence re children under "precautions", unless anyone has another suggestion. Thanks JenOttawa (talk) 17:44, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

Simplified a bit. Looks good. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:09, 6 November 2016 (UTC)