Health issues in dancing

First the DISCLAIMER: don't take the following for gospel. If you have medical questions, go talk to a physician. None of the people quoted here is a physician.

> Athletic creams

> Blisters

v Colds

Colds can be viral or bacterial. Transmission is usually by donor body fluids (coughing, sneezing) through the air, or *very* frequently through hands, onto recipient mucus membranes (mouth, eyes, nose).

A very common route:

Donor sneezes or coughs (into hand!). Donor touches recipients' hand. Recipient touchs mouth.

My advice -- please don't take my word for it, but check with a physician --

1. If you must dance while you hava a cold -- a. take it easy. getting sweaty, and drafts might make it worse for you b. take decongestants and cough suppressants so you won't be oozing and spraying infectuous goo ... also, the less you cough while you have a cold, the less likely you are to contract secondary infections via your roughed-up sore throat. (another reason not to go dancing when you're sick, btw) 2. If you cough or sneeze -- a. don't do it into your hand !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! b. your best alternative is your left sleeve, near the elbow (assuming your arms are covered) why? your inside left elbow is unlikely to touch your partner's hands. Assuming you only sneeze or cough occasionally, it's dry, and thus inhospitable to germs. another option is to cough into your shirt, by raising the front collar over your nose - works well for turtle-necks. c. if you can, of course, excuse yourself and cough/sneeze into a kerchief. but remember, unless your hands are totally dry, you're carrying germs, and transmitting them when you touch your partner wash your hands with soap after sneezing or coughing. 3. Consider wearing gloves -- little white cotton ones are elegant and inexpensive. 4. Get lots of sleep and eat well. And think happy thoughts -- this helps your immune system. 5. At a dance, think of your hands as exposed. Dont touch your eyes, mouth, or nose. Wash your hands with soap before eating. Breathe through your nose. Avoid the airspace near people who cough or sneeze.

I'm always amazed at how many folks will spray a load of cough or sneeze into their hand and then offer that moist hand to their dance partner ... [Peter Renzland]

I'm was a medical microbiologist in a former carrer-life, for whatever that is worth. Having credentialed myself, "colds" are caused by respiratory viruses, chief among them Rhinovirus. Influenza virus causes an intense respiratory event and is constantly changing, hence the need for re-vaccination periodically. All that being said, given the fact that partner dancing requires someone besides yourself, treat every dance event as if you were working in a medical lab. Since latex gloves, and masks would probably diminish the opportunity for dancing, the next best thing is:

Wash your hands before putting them anywhere near your face, even before drinking beverages! This doesn't kill anything, just hopefully reduces the virus exposure to below minimum disease causing level. The "hand washing" motions are important, maintained under running water for at least 30 seconds.

The "hand-to-mouth" route is the most common method of infection. Not much one can do about being caught in the vicinity if someone sneezes. The good news is that "infection doesn't equal disease". We don't live in a sterile environment, and are somewhere near the current endpoint of evolution in learning how to deal with that fact. [Gary D Fadling]

My wife is an M.D. and is very fastidious about clean hands. She uses somthing called " Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer with moisturizers" it "kills germs without water." It is available in a tiny travel size that I carry in my pocket. We just put it on like hand lotion. It's mostly alcohol. We get it at WalMart. You don't have to give up dancing. [Neil]

> Injuries

> Losing weight

> Morton's Neuroma

> Joints, in particular knees and ankles

> Perspiration

> Web resources

Contents of the r.a.d. FAQ

This file is part of the FAQ list for the newsgroup The FAQ list is being maintained by Victor Eijkhout (victor at eijkhout dot net, talk about vanity), who appreciates being sent additions or corrections on the material in this collection. Copyright 1994-2001 lies with the maintainer and the contributors of various parts.

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Last modified on: 2001, Friday January 5.