Japanese myth regarding healty problems
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1. How to treat common cold
Question 1: Is it possible to take a bath when you have a common cold?
My patients often ask me whether or not they can take a bath when they have a cold. When I was a boy, my mother said we should not take a bath when we have a cold or we should get out as quickly as possible. I was not sure why, but took her advice.
There is no writing about bathing when patients have a cold in my medical books. So, I canft answer my patientsf questions with evidence. Also, I canft find anything scientific to shed light on this question.
I have asked my patients and friends who come from foreign countries regarding bathing with a cold. Those who agree with my mother are people from China, Korea, Peru and Japan. On the other hand, people from the USA, UK, Philippines and Brazil said that they took a bath despite having a cold.
Ninety percent of Japanese Pediatricians recommend their infant patients take a bath according to medical research. I agree with them one hundred percent ^^)
I believe that not bathing when patients have a cold is only a superstition based on traditional Chinese medicine that has a history of more than two thousands years and has been imported to Japan for hundreds of years.
Question 2: Do patients have a common cold due to cold weather or making their body cool after bathing?
My patients often say that they have had a common cold due to cold weather or making their body cool after bathing. They tell me this though I donft ask them those questions. These are just myths which are commonly believed in Japan.
Indeed there is an epidemic of the common cold in winter, but is it true that a cause of a cold is cold weather? I would like to explain that cold weather is not a cause of the common cold as an example.
When we try to define what germ causes a disease, it needs to satisfy the Koch's postulates.
1. The specific organism should be shown to be present in all cases of animals suffering from a specific disease but should not be found in healthy animals.
2. The specific microorganism should be isolated from the diseased animal and grown in pure culture on artificial laboratory media.
3. This freshly isolated microorganism, when inoculated into a healthy laboratory animal, should cause the same disease seen in the original animal.
4. The microorganism should be reisolated in pure culture from the experimental infection.
Coldness is not an organism, so it is impossible to isolate it from the diseased animal. However, scientific studies have proved that the cause of the common cold is germs. Ninety percent of them are viruses (Journal of clinical microbiology. 40,3115-20,2002). Cooling their bodies after bathing is not a cause, either.
If cold weather is a cause of the common cold, Antarctic expedition teams or Mt. Everest mountaineer teams might be annihilated by the common cold. But I have never heard those incidents.
I can understand the reason why patients try to explain causes of their common cold by using their senses. Also, I can understand that patients believe the causes of the common cold are cold weather and cooling their bodies because they canft see or feel germs.
Letfs recognize the true cause of the common cold!! And we should prevent it by a correct method such as not touching our nostrils by hands without washing because a huge number of germs cling to our hands.