Medicine: Cold Comfort

Penicillin is not supposed to work against viruses—but it has been working fine against the common cold, which is often caused by a virus. During the past few months, many cold sufferers who wouldn't know a virus if one sneezed in their faces have felt better after sniffing penicillin dust up their noses from little plastic inhalers.

No one is certain yet just why penicillin dust works on colds. But last week's Journal of the American Medical Association published a cautious and belated plug lor a treatment that has already become popular. A group of doctors who tried inhaled penicillin dust on...

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