Cure for the common cold? Media misleads consumers again


If there is one thing local health blogger Gary Schwitzer at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism hates, it's the media's press coverage of medical "cures". It really makes his blood boil and rightfully so. 

In the latest hype by the media, new research is being called a possible "cure" for the common cold. Schwitzer is telling everyone to hold their horses. There's no cure yet and the same company that hyped up a similar drug is at it again. 

In November, Schwitzer wrote about the international reporting on a "cure" for AIDs. We've had enough of the false hope!
Schwitzer's blog documents two news headlines meant to grab hopeful readers. While there has been some major research to decode the strains of the common cold, no "cure" or sorts has actually been developed. 

The New York Times headline: "Cure for the Common Cold? Not Yet, but Possible". And here is how the story leads:
Curing the common cold, one of medicine's most elusive goals, may now be in the realm of the possible. 
Researchers said Thursday that they had decoded the genomes of the 99 strains of common cold virus and developed a catalog of its vulnerabilities.
HealthDay's lede is even worse: Today's medical breakthrough: a cure for the common cold. 

Schwitzer's conclusion? "Keep the tissue box handy. This one isn't as imminent as these headlines and ledes might lead you to believe."