A study was made of the spread of common cold through a group of 1600 girls of college age, as affected by the weather, use of cigarettes, and relative susceptibility to common cold; of the season-to-season changes in physiological fitness as appraised by a modified Flack test; and of the effect, on duration of common cold, of early recognition and care, and ascorbic acid in massive dosage.

Sharp increases in number of new colds per day occurred during periods of falling temperature accompanied by heavy rain. The increases began and were most steadily sustained in the girls with a total of 4 or more colds for the year. The smokers, also, had a tendency to precede the nonsmokers. The weather-precipitated rises in colds-incidence tended to begin 24 to 48 hours after the beginning of the weather change and to persist for 24 to 48 hours after its cessation. The total number of colds, for the September wave, reached its halfway-point 2 days earlier for the more-susceptible fraction than for the less-susceptible fraction.

Only a slight deterioration in average physiological fitness occurred with the progress of the year. The deterioration was not uniform but restricted to a small fraction, partially balanced by a smaller group showing improvement. The smokers appeared to be slightly less fit, on the whole, than the nonsmokers. Nose involvement predominated in the fall colds and throat involvement in the winter colds which were, mainly, seconds and thirds rather than first colds.

A total of 298 colds was studied for the ascorbic acid appraisal; 119 of which were controls given placebos of citric acid. Approximately 60 per cent of the colds with throat involvement only appeared to respond to the basic management given both the control and ascorbic acid groups—restriction of activity, precaution against chilling, and increased fluid intake—with a spontaneous checking of further development. The colds with nose involvement were equally responsive to management, alone, if recognized and submitted to care within 7 hours of presumed onset. For those not recognized and submitted to care until 8 to 28 hours after presumed onset, the percentage of spontaneous checking of further development was, for those given one gram of ascorbic acid at time of first examination and again 24 hours later, 59 ± 5 and, for those given citric acid, 21 ± 4.

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