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Quarantine Period
Old 02-24-2007, 11:37 AM   #1
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Quarantine Period

Let's say you're going to go on a one week vacation, and you want to avoid catching a cold from someone just before you leave.

If you were to quarantine yourself from the general public for a period before the trip, how long should that period be?
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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-24-2007, 11:45 AM   #2
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Re: Quarantine Period

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Let's say you're going to go on a one week vacation, and you want to avoid catching a cold from someone just before you leave.

If you were to quarantine yourself from the general public for a period before the trip, how long should that period be?
I think it takes a week to ten days to catch a cold after being exposed to it, right? So (assuming that is correct), if you didn't contact anybody sick for a week to ten days before your trip, you should be OK. That's how long I would quarantine myself, anyway.

Or maybe a week to ten days is how long a cold lasts. Oh well. I'd still quarantine myself for a week, at least.
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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-24-2007, 12:32 PM   #3
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Re: Quarantine Period

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Let's say you're going to go on a one week vacation, and you want to avoid catching a cold from someone just before you leave.

If you were to quarantine yourself from the general public for a period before the trip, how long should that period be?
"Colds" (actually a collection of many different types of virus, each a little different from the others) can be transmitted in 24 to 96 hours typically. Problem with your strategy is that you basically can't succeed in avoiding potential contacts without getting pretty weird.

Ticket agent at the airline, cabby who hands you the change, guy who coughs in front of you on the escalator, flight attendant who hands you a drink, door knob on the restroom, arm rest of your seat where the guy before you spread his secretions. You get the idea. I suppose a self-imposed 4 day period of hermetic isolation would help a little, but not worth it to me.

Best bet: use Purell or similar freely starting a few days before travel and after every logical appropriate event (food, restrooms, bannisters). No guarantee, but within the bounds of reason as good as you can get. Especially cruise ships.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-24-2007, 03:31 PM   #4
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Re: Quarantine Period

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Problem with your strategy is that you basically can't succeed in avoiding potential contacts without getting pretty weird.
Pssssst. Doc, have you been reading Al's posts? I don't think he's gonna have any trouble qualifying.

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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-24-2007, 03:36 PM   #5
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Re: Quarantine Period

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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-24-2007, 03:46 PM   #6
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Re: Quarantine Period

Many people swear by the product Airborne, especially teachers who are exposed to any and all viruses circulating in the population at any particular time. Take it before, during and after a flight. Another similar, cheaper product is Emergen-C. I use them and haven't had a cold in over two years.
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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-24-2007, 04:01 PM   #7
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Re: Quarantine Period

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
. . .If you were to quarantine yourself from the general public for a period before the trip, how long should that period be?
Six and half years should be enough.
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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-24-2007, 04:09 PM   #8
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Re: Quarantine Period

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe
Many people swear by the product Airborne, especially teachers who are exposed to any and all viruses circulating in the population at any particular time. Take it before, during and after a flight. Another similar, cheaper product is Emergen-C. I use them and haven't had a cold in over two years.
A doctor who doesn't think much of Airborne:

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/20...by_a_sch_1.php
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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-25-2007, 04:41 PM   #9
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Re: Quarantine Period

Figuring a cold lasts about 7 days and incubation is 4 days, I'll lay low for about 10 days before going, and wear a straitjacket and mask on the trip until I get out of cold country.

I'm sorry, I do not believe in Vit C, Echinacea, zinc or other cold preventers. I've taken none of this stuff and I haven't had a cold for about four years either. I have had about 20 times when I thought I was getting a cold.

I see colds as especially vulnerable to placebo effects, since

1. Often you think you're getting a cold but you don't (but not because of anything you do)
2. There's a lot of random variability in whether or not you catch a cold when others around you have one.
3. If you've already had that "variety" of cold, you won't get it.
4. Once you no longer have preschool or school kids, your risk of cold goes down dramatically

So all of this leads to a lot of supersitious behavior. I know many people who swear by echinacea, but if there were any effect there, it would have been seen in some well-done studies by now.
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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-25-2007, 04:50 PM   #10
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Re: Quarantine Period

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Figuring a cold lasts about 7 days and incubation is 4 days, I'll lay low for about 10 days before going, and wear a straitjacket and mask on the trip until I get out of cold country.

I'm sorry, I do not believe in Vit C, Echinacea, zinc or other cold preventers. I've taken none of this stuff and I haven't had a cold for about four years either. I have had about 20 times when I thought I was getting a cold.

I see colds as especially vulnerable to placebo effects, since

1. Often you think you're getting a cold but you don't (but not because of anything you do)
2. There's a lot of random variability in whether or not you catch a cold when others around you have one.
3. If you've already had that "variety" of cold, you won't get it.
4. Once you no longer have preschool or school kids, your risk of cold goes down dramatically

So all of this leads to a lot of supersitious behavior. I know many people who swear by echinacea, but if there were any effect there, it would have been seen in some well-done studies by now.
Echinacea was actually tested and found to be of no use.
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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-25-2007, 04:51 PM   #11
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Re: Quarantine Period

T-bone,

Could just be you're getting old. Since, as you point out, you can only get each variety of cold virus once, old people tend to have gotten them all.

Also, I believe there are scientific studies that show zinc can shorten the duration of a cold, especially if you take it at the onset of a cold. 'Course, zinc lozenges taste awful, at least the ones I've tried.

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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-25-2007, 04:56 PM   #12
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Re: Quarantine Period

One way to help avoid a cold is don't touch your face after being in public, until you've washed your hands; certain germs can survive on doorknobs and coffee pot handles and grocery carts for quite a while.

IIRC that is the main means of transmission, though it won't help if someone sneezes on you.
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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-25-2007, 07:37 PM   #13
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Re: Quarantine Period

Keep your hands away from your EYES and get this your EARS!! Yes your EARS, touch a doorhandle then put your finger in your ear and if there were cold virus on the handle bingo a few days later an itch in the ear and then a sore throat bingo a cold has entered the body!!
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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-25-2007, 09:03 PM   #14
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Re: Quarantine Period

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Originally Posted by newguy888
Keep your hands away from your EYES and get this your EARS!! Yes your EARS, touch a doorhandle then put your finger in your ear and if there were cold virus on the handle bingo a few days later an itch in the ear and then a sore throat bingo a cold has entered the body!!
Yeah. Once your hands have been exposed to cold virus, the only bodily orifice it is safe to put them in is . . . Wait a minute. Don't put your hands there either.
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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-26-2007, 01:50 PM   #15
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Re: Quarantine Period


The air on aircraft is REALLY dry and therefore dries out the mucous membranes
in your upper respiratory system, lessening their resistance to invading microbes.
This can be mitigated by carrying nasal saline onto to the airplane and using it
regularly. I like a product called 4-Way, which also contains menthol and
eucalyptus.

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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-26-2007, 03:08 PM   #16
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Re: Quarantine Period

I typically don't bother to quarantine. I'm in generally good health and just make sure to wash my hands more often when around sick people. Also, making sure to get adequate sleep and maintain lower stress is important.

So in that light, the quarantine may actually be more harm than help due to the increased stress of trying to "avoid" catching something instead of just assuming your immune system is strong and you won't get it anyway.
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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-26-2007, 11:24 PM   #17
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Re: Quarantine Period

The alcohol gel really works. Last year I kept a small squirt bottle in the car and after we went to the store or a restaurant I put a little on my hands and then rubbed Gabes from that. We didnt get sick at all last winter. This year I forgot about it, and we're on our third 'bug' of the season. I put the gel bottle back in the car.

You can buy the stuff (generic purell) at costco and sams in a 5 metric ton container for about five bucks.
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Re: Quarantine Period
Old 02-27-2007, 10:51 PM   #18
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Re: Quarantine Period

Funny - I used to catch my colds from being in airports and on airplanes. Something about being in closed prolonged contact with so many people from different parts of the country - each bringing the germs from their community. I'm convinced that airports and airplanes are perfect environments for catching colds.

I don't fly anymore. I haven't had a cold in ages.

Audrey
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