Sniff out a Cold

There’s no vaccine to prevent it and no antibiotic to kill it. When a cold virus attacks, there is nothing we can do but ride it out. Or is there? Now there may be a way to sniff out that cold in record time.

You can’t see them, but they’re there. Two hundred different cold viruses lurking in the air — hiding out on everything you touch. Their target: your nose — a launching pad for a full-body attack. It’s there in the nose that a newly approved zinc nasal gel, called Zicam®, wages its counter-attack.

Michael Hirt, M.D., an internal medicine specialist, says, “Have you heard of zinc lozenges? Those work in the throat. But most colds start in the nose, and by delivering zinc to the nose we’re able to affect the infection much more quickly and dramatically.”

Dr. Hirt’s research shows zinc nasal gel can reduce the duration of a cold by 76 percent and relieve symptoms almost overnight. He explains, “It can take a cold from nine days to only two days, and dramatically reduce symptoms if used within the first 12 hours.”

Ruth Shidlovsky says, “I thought, ‘Let’s give it a try and we’ll see.’ Then I tried it again, and it truly helps.”

Ruth doesn’t leave home without it. For her, the gel works when she uses it at the first sign of a cold. She says, “As soon as I feel lousy, whether it’s a sore throat, a cold, sneezing, or my body aches, I start it.”

Dr. Hirt says it’s not a cure for the common cold, but says it is the next best thing.

Zinc nasal gel is available over-the-counter at a cost of $7 to $12. Dr. Hirt says it carries no serious side effects and is safe for anyone over the age of 3. Before taking it, pregnant women should first consult their doctor.

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