If at-home flu remedies and preventatives worked, the productivity commission would be handing out Vitamin C on the street and your boss would be making bulk batches of whiskey hot toddys. But, alas, Australia’s preeminent cold and flu scientists sneeze at almost all the tricks we’ve got to avoid the sniffles.
So here are our cold and flu myths, busted one by one.
Take heaps of vitamin C tablets the moment you feel sick
Monash University infection prevention and epidemiology medical director Rhonda Stuart said there was no proof for this one and it could actually be harmful.
Well that definitely won’t work.
“Sometimes we can actually do ourselves harm when we overdose on what we think will be beneficial vitamins,” Stuart said.
“I wouldn’t be promoting high dosing vitamin C to stop a cold.”
A face mask in public will protect you from the flu
This one is true, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think. Stuart said it did prevent virus-laden droplets being coughed into your face, but there was another way it was helpful.
“Out in the community setting, one of the big factors is it stops them putting their hand to face,” Stuart said.
“That’s one of the big ways we can transmit a virus. It gets on your hands and then you touch your mouth or your nose and the virus is transmitted.”