Dear Dr. Roach: I am a 68-year-old female in good health taking no medications. I try to take a 40-minute walk every day. I get the high-dose flu shot each fall and have had two pneumonia shots. This year I got a sinus infection with a cough that’s lasted over three weeks. The year before, I got a deep cough that lasted almost a month. I may not get the full-blown flu, but why do I suffer from things like this every winter? — D.S.
Answer: Your likelihood of getting an upper respiratory infection depends on how much exposure to germs you get.
Adults average one to two colds per year, but those with small children may get six to 10. I used to think my immune system was great: I never got colds. Then I had children. Adults over 60 get fewer than one per year, on average.
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