The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold
By Jennifer Ackerman
(Twelve, Hardcover, 9780446541152, 256pp.)
Publication Date: September 2010
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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.
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.
Science writer Jennifer Ackerman explores "the uncommon life of your common cold" in her new book, Ah-Choo! She explains why colds follow that familiar throat-to-nose-to-chest path of misery -- and details what science shows about various cold remedies. (Prepare to be disappointed.) More at NPR.org
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