Immunity and the Common Cold

Humans have been plagued by disease throughout history and just about everyone has experienced the common cold at some point in time. During your life you will probably have more colds than any other type of illness. Humans have an amazing immune system that helps them fight foreign invaders, but sometimes the way your body fights these invaders causes unpleasant side effects that are often treated with over-the-counter medications.

You can learn more about the common cold at the following resource:

During the week address the following questions:

  1. What is the common cold?
  2. Should antibiotics be taken to treat a cold? Why, or why not?
  3. Why do humans not build immunity to the common cold?
  4. Would it be reasonable to expect that science will develop an immunization for the common cold in your lifetime? Why, or why not?
  5. You all have your own strategies for preventing or recovering from a cold. Please share your favorite strategy for fighting the common cold. Find and cite a source (reputable if possible) that either supports or disputes your favorite strategy.
  6. Later in the week, compare your cold fighting strategy to some described by your classmates.
    • Can you draw a relationship between the different strategies?
    • Do they have any commonalities?
    • How do they differ?