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October 12, 1994

The Common Cold: The Effect of Hot Humid Air on the Nasal Mucosa-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Michigan Ann Arbor

JAMA. 1994;272(14):1104. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520140033030

In Reply.  —The two articles1,2 published in The Journal and discussed in my Editorial3 were concerned with methods to treat the common cold. The device tested (the Rhinotherm) was said to abort rhinovirus replication by raising the temperature of the nasal mucosa. The clinical effect was supposed to be long lasting, shortening the length of symptomatic illness as measured by duration of symptoms; that effect was not demonstrated in the studies.1,2 Since humidified air is also used to provide symptomatic relief, there is a natural tendency to confuse this approach with that of the Rhinotherm. Unfortunately, I believe that Mr Katzman is correct in saying that the distinction might have been lost on many readers of the articles and the Editorial. Humidified air has been a standard, traditional method of obtaining symptomatic relief in acute respiratory illness. My Editorial was intended to be a comment on the

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