Talk:Common cold

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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.
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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
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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 (|date= suggested) (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)

Impact of the common cold on Human evolution[edit]

I am interested in the lack of reference to two factors. 1) The common cold may be known to infect animals but the symptoms are considerably less. 2) disease that has been known since 'antiquity' and affecting primarily humans but all races equally with little geographical variation that could not otherwise be explained by nutrition and insults to the immune system.

This leads me to suggest three causalities, directly attributable to the common cold.

1) The variation in spoken languages across the globe (when the impact of population migration is discounted can be attributed to differentiation in common cold symptoms due to differently evolved strains of the virus group.

2) The evolution of sophisticated levels of thought and communication (thereby differentiating mankind with other animals of similar brain size and genetic makeup) arises from the prevalence of the common cold and its impact on communications.

3) A secondary impact is mankind's ability to tolerate wide ranges of environmental temperature and brain and body cooling. The impact of the common cold creating laboratory conditions that resulted in natural selection of those individuals with insensitivity to internal temperature variations.

Explaining 2) in more detail: Accept the philosophical concept that the evolution of the human brain (with its levels of plasticity) has occurred as the result of the exchange of information and ideas through the use of verbal clues that can be exchange to represent those ideas. Accept that protection and promotion of basic human life relies on the ability to exchange a very small range of sounds and thoughts. (danger-up - danger-left, danger-right. The impact of a period of suffering from the cold means that an individual has to hone their physical and intellectual capability to generate those sounds, because their output is less effective. When the symptoms of the cold abate, those now improved capabilities do not diminish because the common cold symptoms persist long enough for that enhanced capability to become the newly established median level or, just the effect of muscle memory takes over. With that new improved 'communication tool' primitive mankind is able to move away from subsistence. There is also a further impact. The ability to communicate emotion and responses to emotion provide a negative feedback loop to correct mental stress and depression that would otherwise further depress the immune system.

This set of hypotheses and particularly 2) arises from observing 2 children/young adults with Cerebral Palsy who's ability to make intelligible sound deteriorated during periods of common cold symptoms, but when the cold symptoms had abated their speech, in terms of cognition and and clarity improved significantly relative to the levels before the cold affected them and if engagement was made with that improved communication the impact was long lasting.

Apologies if this is not a topic for Wikipedia as it empirical and speculative. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Waschrisb802 (talkcontribs) 22:39, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Folklore about the common cold cause by lowered body temperature[edit]

This article is semi-protected so I was unable to correct it. Please consider:

When it comes to what the average person believes about colds, there seems to be as many misconceptions as cold medicines on a drugstore shelf. And now that the winter cold and flu season is in full swing, we turned to Thomas Tallman, DO, an emergency medicine physician and cold and flu expert at the Cleveland Clinic, to set us -- and you -- straight on prevention and treatment.
Cold weather also does not cause colds -- at least not directly. Despite its name, the common cold is not caused by cold. "It doesn't have any effect at all," says Tallman. "There's no correlation." In fact, you may be more likely to "catch your death of cold" indoors, where it's warm and crowded than outdoors in the chilly air. People in close quarters are more readily exposed to carriers of the viruses that cause colds. "If one person in a household gets sick, it will spread easily," Tallman says.

Source: Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

There are many more sources like this:

We spoke with two experts -- Dr. Sorana Segal-Maurer, chief of the Dr. James J. Rahal Jr. Division of Infectious Disease at New York Hospital Queens, and Dr. Brian P. Currie, vice president and senior medical director of the Montefiore Medical Center in New York -- to find out the truth once and for all.
The verdict: Cold weather does not cause colds

Source: CNN: does cold weather cause colds?

So...Given the prevailing scientific consensus, what to do about this sentence?

There is some controversy over the role of body cooling as a risk factor for the common cold; the majority of the evidence suggests that it may result in greater susceptibility to infection.[30]

Like hell it does. This sentence can be considered misleading or even false. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:25, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

That is a strong claim. Most doctors believe that exposure to cold affects the immune system, whether there is evidence or not. Do you have any references to evidence that cold does not create susceptibility? I wonder whether any experimentation has been done at all. Without evidence, anyone can claim anything. David Spector (talk) 17:27, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Adjusted text. It is referring to hypothermia rather than exposure to low temps. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 17:37, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Recent evidence has come to light in a a study in mice has shown that the strength of antiviral immune response in infected cells also varies according to temperature, being strongest at higher temperatures and diminished at lower, and therefore physiology underpins notion that colds are caught more readily in cool weather. [1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) (signed by Mr. Swordfish (talk) 12:35, 21 January 2015 (UTC))


I really don't know why you reverted my edit, since the Research directions section is obviously outdated. The BTA-798 study finished and some results were published in December 2013. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to make the update myself and to update the Romanian page as well. The other infos on that section might also be outdated. I'll check them tomorrow if I can spare some time. Regards, Wintereu (user talk) 23:07, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

There was no indication of what was missing. Also here on the English Wikipedia we more or less stick with secondary sources such as review articles.
The common cold is not an active area of research. Which BTA-798 are you referring to? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 02:38, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I was talking about Vapendavir. You can read a review article here. I was wrong about the date. The study ended much earlier. --Wintereu (user talk) 06:27, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

All is see is the heraldsun? Were is the review article? Pubmed comes up with nothing [1] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 07:01, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I know, but you can find it on PubChem, here. You might also be interesed in reading the following related articles as well: and The first of them is talking about the study results (which were very good), while the second is the official page of the product (the last 2 paragraphs). --Wintereu (user talk) 11:15, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes but we need a high quality secondary source. Two of the refs do not work for me. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 19:14, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, there's the official report of the phase II trial. Obviously, even though results were very good until now, there is still a long way ahead. By the way, in Medicines in Development - Infectious Diseases Report you can find all the antivirals which are subject to clinical trials and their status so far (just in case you're curious to see them all). --Wintereu (user talk) 23:10, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
So looks like this line "A number of antivirals have been tested for effectiveness in the common cold; however as of 2009 none have been both found effective and licensed for use" is still true. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 00:16, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Apparently, Pleconaril development was halted, according to the American Society for Microbiology (AAC Issue, May 2013). Regarding the Vapendavir (BTA798), please read the official report (cited by ATS Journals, May 2013) and the PharmaVentures article (Issue 10, February 2014). Other sources may be found as well.
--Wintereu (user talk) 11:01, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Regarding the tag, the Research directions section contains information through 2011, that is not so wildly out of date as to require an article-wide tag. If it needs updating please just update it rather than tagging it. Zad68 13:13, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Breast feeding[edit]

Currently says:

"Breast feeding decreases the risk of acute otitis media and lower respiratory tract infections among other diseases[37] and it is recommended that breast feeding be continued when an infant has a cold.[38] In the developed world breast feeding may not however be protective against the common cold in and of itself.[39]"

Can we clarify this a bit? It seems to be saying that breast feeding decreases the risk in poor countries, but in developed ones it only helps prevent middle ear infections and pneumonia or bronchitis - not the cold. Snori (talk) 17:48, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Physiology underpins notion that colds are caught more readily in cool weather". The Pharmaceutical Journal. 2015-01-19. Retrieved 2015-01-20.