Cover image for In cold pursuit : medical intelligence investigates the common cold
In cold pursuit : medical intelligence investigates the common cold
Gilmore, Jon Barnard, 1937-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Toronto : Stoddart ; Buffalo, N.Y. : Distributed in the US by General Distribution Services, 1998.
Physical Description:
326 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
RF361 .G55 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Find out what tropical island-dwellers and Arctic explorers can teach us about the common cold. It is one of the most elusive forces in nature. It has defeated some of our century's brightest minds. What Gilmore makes clear in this intriguing new book is that there is nothing common about the common cold. Everything you thought you knew about the cold will now have to be revised. In Cold Pursuit takes readers to the four corners of the world, from scientific centres in Amsterdam, Munich, Chicago, and Toronto, to research stations in Arctic Norway and submarines in the South Seas. Gilmore explains, in clear, accessible language, what past and present research has told us about this mysterious virus and proffers the notion that a cure for the common cold may prove more harmful than good.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

There are hundreds of common cold viruses, in several distinct families, each with its own unique genetic instructions for co-opting the cells it infects. How these viruses jump from person to person and bring on the sniffles is a subject of contentious scientific debate, with surprisingly few hard answers. Tracking cold transmission among Eskimos, London postal workers, German WWI troops and Cleveland families, and on Polaris submarines, in the Virgin Islands, in Amsterdam and elsewhere, this circuitous review of seven decades of research is likely to leave readers baffled. Gilmore, a psychology professor emeritus who conducted a five-year epidemiological study of colds among University of Toronto student volunteers, holds the somewhat heretical view that colds stemming from a commensal (companionable) virus may be quite common. Contrary to the popular view that the cold virus is invasive and spread by contagion, he believes it may live in harmony with its host for a time before turning nasty under certain conditions. Gilmore also lays out the evidence that most cold viruses are transmitted by direct contact with contaminated objects, rather than by airborne transmission via coughs and sneezes. His advice for avoiding colds (wash your hands frequently, buffer yourself against marked shifts in outdoor temperature, etc.) is as inconclusive as his review of the research. His thorough scientific detective story reveals much about the workings of science and the mysteries of illness, but offers cold comfort for the afflicted reader. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved