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Ah-Choo!: The Uncommon Life of Your Common Coldby Jennifer Ackerman
Synopses & Reviews
Some colds are like mice, timid and annoying; others like dragons, accompanied by body aches and deep misery. In AH-CHOO!, Jennifer Ackerman explains what, exactly, a cold is, how it works, and whether it's really possible to "fight one off." Scientists call this the Golden Age of the Common Cold because Americans suffer up to a billion colds each year, resulting in 40 million days of missed work and school and 100 million doctor visits. They've also learned over the past decade much more about what cold viruses are, what they do to the human body, and how symptoms can be addressed. In this ode to the odious cold, Ackerman sifts through the chatter about treatments-what works, what doesn't, and what can't hurt. She dispels myths, such as susceptibility to colds reflects a weakened immune system. And she tracks current research, including work at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, a world-renowned center of cold research studies, where the search for a cure continues.
"God bless you!--and this thoroughly delightful compendium of facts, fiction, and down-to-earth advice about the pesky viruses (200 and counting) that knock you down and drag you out two to four times a year. Ackerman (Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body) parses the variety and durability of the cold, its well-known miseries, paradoxes (a highly active immune system may actually make you sicker with a cold), and myriad mysteries (why do poorer people get more colds? what roles do stress and sleep play? is our clean obsession making us more susceptible to sickness?) with the thoroughness of a scientist, the doggedness of a journalist, and the verve of a thriller writer. Look for debunking of modern snake oils like echinacea and vitamin C and some rock-solid advice: wash your hands regularly, and keep them out of your eyes and mouth. And at the very least, Ackerman argues, enjoy the forced break a cold mandates. There's a nifty collection of comforting recipes as well, including a nonalcoholic hot toddy (and a delicious sounding boozy one, too), banana pudding, and yes, chicken soup. Gesundheit! (Sept. 2)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Ackerman explains what, exactly, a cold is, how it works, and whether it's really possible to "fight one off." Scientists call this the Golden Age of the Common Cold because Americans suffer up to a billion colds each year, resulting in 40 million days of missed work and school and 100 million doctor visits.
About the Author
Jennifer Ackerman's most recent book is Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body. Her previous books include Chance in the House of Fate: A Natural History of Heredity, and Notes from the Shore. A contributor to National Geographic, The New York Times, and many other publications, her articles and essays have been included in several anthologies, among them Best American Science Writing, The Nature Reader, and Best Nature Writing. Jennifer lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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