The common cold is medically referred to as a viral upper respiratory tract infection. Many types of virus are known to cause colds but the rhinovirus is the most common.
The cold virus enters the body through the mouth, eyes or nose. The virus spreads through droplets in the air when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes or talks. It can also be transmitted through direct physical contact with someone who is sick and by touching contaminated surfaces.
Adults have an average of 2-3 colds per year, and children have even more. Most symptoms due to uncomplicated colds resolve within 10 days.
Symptoms usually include:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Body aches
There is no cure for a cold. Antibiotics will not help you recover from a cold. Over-the-counter medicines may help ease symptoms but will not make colds go away any faster.
It is advised to get enough rest and drink plenty of fluids.
Seek consultation with a doctor for the following conditions:
- Fever greater than 38.5 C
- Symptoms that last more than 10 days
- Sever and unusual symptoms
Stop the spread of germs
- Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay away from people who are sick.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and objects such as toys and doorknobs.
Practice good cough and sneeze etiquette;
always cough and sneeze into a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose.