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Guidebook for cold prevention and treatment issued | Updated: 2016-11-22 16:24

A health guidebook for family cold prevention and treatment was issued in China on Saturday in Guangzhou in an effort to awaken more public awareness of what is considered a minor illness.

Manufactured by the science publicity center under Chinese Academy of Medical Science and supervised by top respiratory medical experts at home and abroad, the guidebook covers prevention and treatment know-how's from the common cold to influenza for each family member, especially for special groups like children, seniors and pregnant or nursing women.

Academician and Professor Zhong Nanshan from the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, also one of the guidebook consultants, said public misunderstanding and blind spots of the cold is the main reason the cold goes rampant in China, home to the largest cold population in the world.

According to an international survey, 84 percent of Chinese people suffered from a cold in 2015, averaging 18.5 days per person. Seventy-five percent of the patients polled said they kept working while they had a cold.

"People say cold is a minor illness... that is so wrong," said Zhong, who was at the forefront of China's Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003.

"Most cold patients don't go to see doctors or take medicine without medical advice... plus irregular daily schedule and improper health habit, all of these will drive a 'minor' illness to a life-threatening one.”

China reported 349 deaths among 5,327 diagnosed SARS cases while 8,422 were reported worldwide until August 7, 2003.

Doctor David Hull, chief researcher of P&G Britain, said family care is badly needed to help cold patients recover besides proper medical care. "Cozy home environment, pleasing food and a soft touch are all helpful," said Hull, adding that a warm embrace from a husband will be a quick cure to his cold-plagued wife.

About 10,000 guidebooks will be given out by drug stores in Guangzhou.

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