Common cold also known simply as cold is an upper infectious disease caused by many different viruses. Common cold is a disease that can be managed at homes.
Causes of common cold
More than 200 different types of viruses causes common cold with Rhinovirus causing 30% to 40% of all adult colds. Rhinovirus causes disease at any time of the year but infection rates rises from march to may and from September to November. During this periods, around 80% of colds may be due to Rhinovirus. Other viruses include adenovirus, respiratory synctial virus, corona virus and parainfluenza virus. Common cold is caused with many different viruses and because of so, the body never builds a resistance against all of them. Colds are a frequent and recurring problems, for this reasons adults can have two to four colds per year while children typically have six to twelve colds per year. Common cold is the leading cause of doctor visits as it’s the most frequently occurring infection in the world. Common cold is spread either by direct contact with infected places or by inhaling the airborne virus after individual cough or sneeze. A cold virus can live for several hours on frequently touched objects such as pens, books, cellphones, door knobs, coffee cups and computer keyboards.
Common cold symptoms typically occurs two to three days after getting the infection. This may vary depending on the type of virus that is causing the infection. Symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Stuffy nose on nasal drainage
- Low grade fever
The symptoms of infants and children are similar to those seen in adults.
Common cold has no cure since it’s a self limiting illness that resolve within time and proper management. Home treatment for common cold includes drinking plenty of fluids while resting. Although drugs such as cough drops, throat sprays, throat lozenges and cough syrups may help relieve symptoms in older children and adults, they don’t shorten the duration of the common cold. Warm saltwater may help with sore throat while drugs such as antihistamines may be used fore nasal symptoms. It is important to encourage plenty of fluids and allow rest for infants and small children in order to prevent dehydration.
The most important and mostly used prevention for common cold is avoiding direct contact with infected people. There is no effective vaccine currently against the common cold.