DEAR DOCTOR K: Is there any way to prevent a cold?
DEAR READER: The typical cold is a relatively mild misery that goes away without special treatment after about a week. Still, it's a misery most of us would rather avoid. Colds are caused by viruses — more than 200 different types. Because the infection is not bacterial, antibiotics don't help. Over-the-counter cold medicines are available, but not always effective.