Overview

The common cold is a viral infection of your nose and throat. A common cold is usually harmless. Most people recover from a common cold in about a week or two. If symptoms don’t approve, see your doctor.


Basics

The Common Cold is a group of symptoms in the upper respiratory tract caused by a large number of different viruses. 

How a Common Cold Starts
  • You can catch a common cold from another person who is infected with the virus. This contact usually occurs by touch a surface contaminated with cold germs and then touching your nose or mouth.
  • You can also catch a cold by encountering discharges that someone with a cold has sneezed into the air. 
Factors that make you More Susceptible to Catching a Cold Virus
  • Fatigue
  • Emotional distress
  • Allergies 
Cold Symptoms
  • Burning feeling in the nose or throat
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Feeling tired
  • Coughing
  • Watery eyes
  • Itching
  • You have an inability to swallow
  • Your sore throat lasts for more than 2 or 3 days, and it if it worsening
  • You have an earache
  • You have a stiff neck or sensitivity to bright lights
  • You’re pregnant
  • You have a temperature of 101 degrees F or higher

The Difference Between the Common Cold & the Flu


Recommendations

Preparing for Cold Season
  • In the U.S., most colds occur during the fall and winter
  • In late August and early September, the rate of colds increases and remains high until March or April, when it begins to decline
  • Seasonal changes in humidity also affect the prevalence of colds
How to Protect Yourself and Others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Viruses live on your hands and regular hand washing can protect you from catching a cold.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay away from people who are sick

If you have a cold, follow these tips to prevent your virus from spreading to others:

  • Stay at home while you are sick
  • Avoid close contact with others, such as hugging, kissing or shaking hands
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue. Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands as this may pass on the virus
  • Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • Disinfect frequently touch surfaces
Symptom Relief
  • Over-the-counter medications can provide temporary relief of symptoms
  • Congestion, cough and nasal discharge may be treated with a decongestant, antihistamine or a combination of the two
  • Herbs, minerals and other products such as Echinacea, garlic, honey, lemon, menthol, zinc and vitamin C are often used as cold remedies
  • Drink adequate liquids. Eight glasses of water and/or juice per day are recommended.
  • Avoid coffee, tea or soft drinks that contain caffeine
  • If you smoke, stop smoking. Stay away from other smokers.

Related Facts

Children have 5-7 colds per year Adults have 2-5 per year (Web MD)

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