Common Cold

Common Cold

The common cold, also known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection.

CAUSE

More than 200 different types of viruses are known to cause the common cold. Because so many different viruses can cause a cold and new cold viruses constantly develop, the body never builds up resistance against all of them. Colds are a frequent and recurring problem.

MODE OF SPREAD

The common cold is usually spread by direct hand-to-hand contact with infected secretions .Colds are most contagious during the first 2 to 4 days after symptoms appear, and may be contagious for up to 3 weeks. Your can catch a cold from person-to-person contact or by breathing in virus particles spread through the air by sneezing or coughing. Touching the mouth or nose after touching skin or another surface contaminated with a virus can also spread a cold.

Additionally, a cold virus can live on objects such as pens, books, telephones, computer keyboards, and coffee cups for several hours and can thus be acquired from contact with these objects.

MYTH

The cold weather itself does not cause the common cold. Rather, it is thought that during cold-weather months people spend more time indoors in close proximity to each other, thus facilitating the spread of the virus. For this same reason, children in day care and school are particularly prone to acquiring the common cold.

SYMPTOMS

  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Sore or scratchy throat
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Fever and headache
  • Tiredness and body aches

These symptoms will typically last anywhere from three to 10 days.

PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT

  • Frequently wash your hands.
  • Use personal handkerchiefs and hand towels.
  • Avoid sharing food and utensils.
  • Try to use disposable cups when you are out or in public gatherings.
  • Take rest.
  • Take plenty of fluids (lukewarm water, hot soups, hot tea etc).
  • Breathing in steam can break up congestion in the nasal passages, offering relief from a stuffy or runny nose.
  • Gargling warm water with a teaspoon of salt four times daily can help keep a scratchy throat moist.

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