In reply: Precisely because of the temporal variation in symptom severity described by Vitetta and colleagues, we judged that medical professionals are not as well able, in a variably timed interview, to quantify patients' cold symptoms as the patients themselves can do on a continuing basis. Therefore, we consider that our study1 would have been no more valid if the detailed symptom severity cards had been supplemented by one or more physical examinations. In that respect, we are in good company with others who have studied the common cold over many years.2
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