Facebook Pixel

How To Avoid Catching Or Spreading A Cold - Howdini

Rate This

More Videos from Howdini 30 videos in this series

How To Avoid Catching Or Spreading A Cold - Howdini
How To Avoid Catching Or Spreading A Cold - Howdini
28 of 30 : Current video

If you're around someone with a cold, how can you avoid catching it? Leading ear, nose and throat surgeon and author Dr. Jordan Josephson has advice to minimize the possibility of spreading your germs.

I'm Lisa Birnbach. Here's a situation we all face and dread every cold and flu season. You're at work, or on a bus, or standing in line next to some guy who's sneezing and hacking, a walking germ machine. Or is he? How can you tell whether you're contagious? With us to explain is Dr. Jordan Josephson, an ear, nose and throat specialist, and author of Sinus Relief Now. I sit on planes a lot, and I figure I'm getting sick every time I get on a plane. Is that true?

Well, the bottom line is when you get on the plane, it's a very closed exhaust, and so people are breathing and they're sneezing and they're coughing. That air is being recirculated. So you're right, there are going to be germs on the plane. How do you deal with it? Well, irrigating when you get off the plane will wash the infections that you may have breathed into your nose away, so that will help you. Being at your best shape, as far as being well rested, eating right, staying well hydrated, will also help your nose drain and clear those infections before they get into your bloodstream.

Can you catch a cold from kissing the cheek of someone who has a cold?

You can catch a cold just from breathing the air that they're breathing, and you can only go so far. I think keeping yourself in the best state possible will help you and your body fight those infections, and should make you OK. If your kids are sick, and they come home on the first couple of days, what are you going to do, not go near your kids? I mean, you have to treat them and help them.

Yes, I quarantine them. When my kids are feeling crummy, all I want to do is hold them and let them sleep in my bed sometimes.

So there are risks and benefits to being around sick people. The more you're around different colds, the more your immunity can deal with them and the more resistant you'll be, and less likely to get a cold.

When one of your children is sick, it does seem like the cold or flu spreads, or strep throat spreads around the house like wildfire. Is there a way to keep your kids from not infecting one another?

Very hard, because it's in the air. But certainly during the first two or three days, you may want to tell the sick child, stay in bed, bundle up. The other kids are going to be in school, anyway, so there's going to be a decreased sensitivity, because they're not going to be around.


And when they are around, kiss and TLC is important, but let's leave little Johnny alone, let him rest. You guys go play in the other room. And I think that will do the trick, and as a parent, you really have to be there for that sick child.

If they share a room, if you have a kid sharing a room with the kid with a cold, move one of them out?

I would move one of them out. I mean, they're not going to be sleeping in the same bed, but you may want to use an air purifier. Certainly having both of them irrigate with saline spray, and children do irrigate with saline spray. They even irrigate with neti pots. I mean, this really is the age of four, five. I have kids at two-years-old using saline sprays, and you would be amazed at how excited they are about washing their nose out, and that's going to help them from catching the cold from their sibling.

There are wives tales about how you can be contagious, for example, kissing, shaking hands. Which is more dangerous?

Germs pass on your hands. I mean, virus could be on your hands, it could be on your clothing, they could be anywhere. They could be on your cheeks, they could be on your lips, especially if you're the one that's sick. Giving a child a kiss that's feeling sick, you're doing him more good than harm, and you're doing yourself more good by making him feel better and get better sooner.

Can you get a virus from a door handle from a bus? People now say there are germs in hotel bedspreads. I mean, are you going to get sick from all of that stuff?

Virus don't linger too often for a very long time. They're usually short, and their life span, as far as being out on a bedspread, I don't really think you have to worry there. But certainly, on buses, telephones, things that people are handling, constant--

Cash machines?

Cash machines, money. Being around infections is actually good, because it helps your immunity respond, and makes you capable to combat when the big doses of infection come your way.

Now, I'm under the impression that 24 hours exactly after you've been on an antibiotic you are no longer contagious. I'm wondering if that's true.

There are no studies to support that 24 hours is the number. I would basically tell people listen, when you're feeling well enough to get out of bed and you're feeling a little bit better, that's the time that it's OK to go out into the crowd. But if you're feeling just run down and you want to get into bed, your body's telling you that you shouldn't be around other people.


Get into bed.

Right. Makes sense. Thanks, Dr. Josephson.

The body knows.

Yeah, it knows, knows more than I do. I'm Lisa Birnbach.

Howdini is life’s little instruction manual, in HD. We’re all about bringing together the top, most respected experts in their fields to help us be the best we can be at all of the little and not-so-little challenges of our complicated lives. Howdini is the place to be for the know-how you want, when you need it. Or maybe it’s the know-how you need, when you want it. Whatever. We’re here to help. So come in and look around, won’t you?

We think you’ll love finding everything you want to learn about in one convenient place, and as we grow and add more categories and more Howdinis, you’ll be doing less surfing and more learning right here. And unlike television, Howdinis aren’t limited by time—we don’t have to break for commercials, and we’re always on.

Who is Howdini?

People often ask us, is there an actual person who is Howdini? And the answer is, it’s kind of like Lassie. Just as there were many Lassies, there are many individuals who are called Howdini. In fact, each of our experts is a Howdini, and, like all those Lassies, they really know their tricks. (Although so far there is no ‘How to tell your master that Timmy is trapped in the old abandoned mine’ segment)

Our gurus are people you know and trust because you’ve been getting advice from them for years, at places like Good Morning America, The Today Show, Money, Prevention, and Food and Wine (to name just a few). Many are best-selling authors. Others, like our medical experts, are respected leaders in their fields.

Howdini History

The first Howdini was Joanna Breen, who left a comfortable career at ABC’s 20/20 to create a how to video website after one too many frustrating experiences with handymen who weren’t that handy. Joanna had traveled the world reporting with Barbara Walters and others on injustice, outrage, and tragedy, but now it was time to turn her talents to dealing with crises closer to home, like what do you do if you drop your diamond ring down the drain. Joanna is the quintessential can-do girl, so she didn’t find the prospect of launching a gigantic website the least bit daunting. (Ok, that last part isn’t entirely true.)

Joanna convinced an old ABC News buddy, Shelley Lewis, to join her. Shelley had supervised roughly 9.7 million helpful how to segments during a long career executive producing television shows like Good Morning America and CNN’s American Morning. A self-described “info-pig” who loves all kinds of information programming, she is never happier than when she’s learning an amazing new tip that she can annoy share with everyone she knows. Needless to say, Howdini was a dream gig for her. A career woman, a wife, a mother, and author of two books, Shelley considers herself equally challenged by all the facets of her life.

Joanna and Shelley were introduced to marketing executive Alison Provost by a mutual friend who knew that Alison had what they needed - entrepreneurial experience, patience, and a checkbook that still had checks in it. Joanna and Shelley could see right away that Alison should join Howdini. They figured that they would take care of the programming, and Alison would bring trustworthy sponsors to help pay the bills. It took Alison significantly longer to be convinced, maybe because she was crazy busy running a marketing firm called PowerPact, which she continues to oversee while serving as the biggest of big cheeses at Howdini. But whether it’s playing Suduko or launching a new business in a field she knows little about, Alison loves the challenge of a good puzzle, It wasn’t long before she began dropping obscure internet terms like “user-interface” and “googlebot” into casual conversation.

What’s Next for Howdini?

Our goals are modest. Complete and total domination of the internet, crushing Google, Microsoft, and any other punks who get in our way. (Hey, it’s a just a goal.) But until then, we will content ourselves making the best, most professional, most credible how to videos you can find anywhere. We want to help you solve your career issues, your parenting problems, your money troubles. We want you to be more glamorous, healthier, and less stressed out. We want you to check Howdini every day for fun, interesting, useful advice from experts you know and trust.

We want to make Howdini the community you love to be part of every day, To do that, we need to hear from you. Please share your suggestions, rate and comment on the Howdini videos, and the blog, (The Howdini blog). Tell us what you’d like us to create for you.

And then, when we’ve achieved that, it’s back to working on complete and total domination of the internet.

Add a Comment1 Comments


Very well done. Cold and flu season is upon us and it can be devastating. Hopefully this will be a mild season for us.

Marielaina Perrone DDS
Henderson Dental Phobia Treatment

October 11, 2012 - 2:45pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment


Get Email Updates

Flu Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!