The common cold is a viral infection of your nose and throat. A common cold is usually harmless. Most people recover from a common cold in about a week or two. If symptoms don’t approve, see your doctor.
The Common Cold is a group of symptoms in the upper respiratory tract caused by a large number of different viruses.
How a Common Cold Starts
- You can catch a common cold from another person who is infected with the virus. This contact usually occurs by touch a surface contaminated with cold germs and then touching your nose or mouth.
- You can also catch a cold by encountering discharges that someone with a cold has sneezed into the air.
Factors that make you More Susceptible to Catching a Cold Virus
- Burning feeling in the nose or throat
- Runny nose
- Feeling tired
- Watery eyes
- You have an inability to swallow
- Your sore throat lasts for more than 2 or 3 days, and it if it worsening
- You have an earache
- You have a stiff neck or sensitivity to bright lights
- You’re pregnant
- You have a temperature of 101 degrees F or higher
Preparing for Cold Season
- In the U.S., most colds occur during the fall and winter
- In late August and early September, the rate of colds increases and remains high until March or April, when it begins to decline
- Seasonal changes in humidity also affect the prevalence of colds
How to Protect Yourself and Others
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Viruses live on your hands and regular hand washing can protect you from catching a cold.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Stay away from people who are sick
If you have a cold, follow these tips to prevent your virus from spreading to others:
- Stay at home while you are sick
- Avoid close contact with others, such as hugging, kissing or shaking hands
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue. Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands as this may pass on the virus
- Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
- Disinfect frequently touch surfaces
- Over-the-counter medications can provide temporary relief of symptoms
- Congestion, cough and nasal discharge may be treated with a decongestant, antihistamine or a combination of the two
- Herbs, minerals and other products such as Echinacea, garlic, honey, lemon, menthol, zinc and vitamin C are often used as cold remedies
- Drink adequate liquids. Eight glasses of water and/or juice per day are recommended.
- Avoid coffee, tea or soft drinks that contain caffeine
- If you smoke, stop smoking. Stay away from other smokers.