Health Check: I feel a bit sick, should I stay home or go to work?

The following general article was published in The Conversation.

Health Check: I feel a bit sick, should I stay home or go to work?

Michael Tam, UNSW Australia

You wake up on a work day and feel under the weather. If you’re vomiting or have a fever, the decision to stay at home is probably clear cut. But what if you generally feel unwell but are torn about missing work? Continue reading

Health Check: can you treat the common cold?

Health Check: can you treat the common cold?

By Michael Tam

With symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, cough, headaches and fever, the common cold can leave you feeling rotten for up to two weeks.

As the name suggests, they’re annoyingly common, with the average adult likely to get two or three colds a year, while children average ten.

Common colds are caused by more than 200 different viruses and tend to be milder than the flu. But while the influenza vaccination can prevent against the most common circulating strains of the flu, there’s no equivalent for the common cold.

So, can you prevent the common cold? Or treat it once you have it? Let’s put four popular therapies to the test: echinacea, garlic, vitamin C and zinc. Continue reading