- WHAT IS COMMON COLD:-
Common cold is a viral infection of upper respiratory tract-Nose and Throat.
It is a self limited contagious illness.
Preschool children are at higher risk of frequent colds ,but even healthy adults can expect to have a few colds each year.
Most people recover from a common cold in about a week or two.
- CAUSES OF COMMON COLD:-
It is a viral disease.More than 200 of different types of viruses are known to cause the common cold with Rhinovirus causing 30-35% of all adult colds.
Other common virus include coronavirus,adenovirus,respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza virus.Because so many different viruses can cause a cold and because new cold viruses constantly develop,the body never builds up resistance against all of them.For this reason colds are a frequent and recurring problem.
It is spread either by direct contact with infected secretion from contaminated surfaces or by inhaling the airborne virus after individual sneeze or cough.
- SYMPTOMS OF COMMON COLD:-
Symptoms usually appear about 1 to 3 days after exposure to virus. These are-
- Runny and stuffy nose
- Itchy or sore throat
- Slight body aches or a mild headache
- Watery eyes
- Low grade fever
- Mild fatigue
Discharges from nose may become thicker and yellow or green in color as it runs its course.
- DIAGNOSIS OF COMMON COLD:-
Diagnosis is mainly based on the history of the illness such as- onset,duration,progress,modalities.
Lab tests and imaging studies are not necessary unless there is not another underlying medical conditions such as influenza,ear infection,sinus infection.
- TREATMENT OF COMMON COLD:-
Although it is a self limited condition but some medicines are:
-Pain relievers- For fever,sore throat and headache Acetaminophen is given.
-Decongestant nasal sprays
It corrects the imbalance in the immune system rather than simply curing an infection.