The common cold is one of the most common illnesses in the world.
The common cold is a viral infection and is one of the most common illness worldwide, It leads to more visits to health care providers and absences from school than any other illness. Adults get about 2-3 colds each year, and children may get even more.
What causes the common cold?
Colds are caused by different types of viruses, with rhinoviruses causing the majority of colds. Other possible types of virus that can cause colds include adenoviruses, coronaviruses, enteroviruses, parainfluenza viruses, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Rhinoviruses can cause other conditions as well as colds, such as sinus infections, pneumonia, ear infections, and sore throats. They can also trigger asthma attacks.
What are signs and symptoms of the common cold?
The most common symptoms of a cold are nasal congestion or stuffiness, watery eyes, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, and low-grade fever. Coughing and sneezing may follow these symptoms. Symptoms of a cold develop 1-3 days after exposure to the virus. The duration of cold symptoms varies, but 7-10 days is typical.
Is the common cold contagious?
The common cold is contagious and is spread from person to person. A person with a cold virus infection is contagious for about 24 hours before symptoms appear, and for up to about 5 days after symptoms develop.
What is the cure for the common cold?
There are remedies that can bring relief of cold symptoms, but there is no cure for the common cold. Home remedies to relieve symptoms include rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking over-the-counter pain and fever medications. Antibiotics are not effective against colds since they do not work against viruses.
What is the medical term for the common cold?
Doctors use the term "upper respiratory infection" when describing a cold.
Hand washing is one of the best possible ways to prevent colds.
Good handwashing practices are an excellent way to prevent colds. It's important to wash hands often and well with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer product if soap and water are not available. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, as this can cause cold viruses to enter your body. Avoiding close contact with people who are sick with a cold can also help prevent your contracting the infection.
Images provided by:
3. Big Stock Photo
CDC. Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. Upper Respiratory Infection (URI or Common Cold).
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Common Cold Prevention.
District of Columbia Health Department. Common Cold Fact Sheet.
This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information:
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the MedicineNet Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
© 1996-2019 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved.