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When you have a common communicable infectious disease like a cold or the flu, do you do anything to protect others, such as members of your family, from catching your illness? If so, what? Would you do anything differently after reading this chapter? If so, what? Would you use CAM to help “cure” your cold? Why or why not? 

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In the field of medicine, it is crucial to understand how infectious diseases can spread and take appropriate measures to protect others from contracting the illness. This question addresses the preventive measures one should take when having a common communicable infectious disease, and whether complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) could be used for treating a cold.


When dealing with a common communicable infectious disease like a cold or the flu, it is essential to take precautions to protect others from getting sick. Some of the recommended steps to prevent the transmission of the illness include:

1. Practice good hygiene: Regularly washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds helps eliminate germs. Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue or elbow when coughing or sneezing also prevents the spread of droplets containing the virus.

2. Avoid close contact: Minimizing close contact with others, especially those who are at a higher risk of complications from the illness, such as young children, older adults, or individuals with weakened immune systems, can help prevent transmission.

3. Stay home when sick: It is crucial to stay home from work or school when experiencing symptoms of a common communicable infectious disease. This helps prevent the spread of the illness to others in the community.

After reading this chapter, one might consider additional measures to protect others. For example, one could use disposable tissue papers instead of handkerchiefs or regularly disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at home to reduce the chances of contamination.

The use of CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) for curing a cold is a personal choice. CAM encompasses a diverse range of therapies, including herbal remedies, supplements, acupuncture, and chiropractic care, among others. While some individuals may find relief in certain CAM practices, it is important to approach them with caution and consult a healthcare professional.

In the case of a cold, CAM treatments may provide symptomatic relief, such as herbal teas or certain herb-based supplements that claim to boost the immune system. However, it is important to note that there is limited scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of these treatments in curing the primary cause of the illness or preventing its spreading. Therefore, it is advisable to rely on evidence-based conventional medical treatments, such as over-the-counter medication, rest, proper hydration, and seeking medical advice if symptoms worsen or persist.

In conclusion, when having a common communicable infectious disease, it is essential to take preventive measures to protect others. Using good hygiene practices, minimizing close contact, and staying home when sick can significantly reduce the risk of transmission. While CAM may provide symptomatic relief, it is important to approach these treatments with caution and consult a healthcare professional for appropriate guidance.

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