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The Common Cold

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The common cold affects everyone everywhere. In fact, it's the most common infectious disease, and so has a large impact on the economy. For example, in the US, more than $7 billion are spent on doctor's visits because of colds. More than $3 billion are spent on medicines too. Because sick people miss work, US companies lose $20 billion or more per year.

People become sick for many reasons. Smoking increases the chances for infection. Lack of sleep and poor nutrition also increase the chances. And although many people believe that cold weather causes illness, research has shown this isn't true.

Surprisingly, there is no known cure for the common cold. Medicines and remedies only make a person feel better. However, people remain ill for about ten days with or without medicine.


Preview the lesson material:

Warm Up: Discuss the question with your partner for five minutes.

  1. How often do you catch a cold? When was the last time you were sick?

Comprehension Questions: Answer the questions before/after your read the article.

  1. It can be said that colds cost about $30 billion total in the US.  T / F
  2. According to the article, cold weather increases the chances of getting sick.  T / F

Summarization: Summarize the article with a partner. Try to do so with only two or three sentences.

Discuss: Discuss these questions with a partner. Remember to support your answers.

  1. Were you surprised by any of the information in the article? Please explain.
  2. When you get sick, what do you tend to do? Please explain.
  3. What do you do to prevent catching a cold? Please explain.

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