Everyone Catches The Common Cold Every Now and Then

Sep 01, 2021

The common cold is one of the most easily diagnosed illnesses in the United States. In fact, it is improbable for an adult to go a whole year without dealing with common cold symptoms at some point. Kids too miss a few days every year due to the common cold. The disease is widespread and recurring among pre-school and elementary kids who can contract the cold anywhere between five and eight times a year. It is possible to catch a common cold at any time of the year, contrary to how most flu cases are witnessed during spring and winter when low temperatures and humid conditions favor the spread of the viruses that lead to flu-like symptoms. Read on to discover more about the common cold, its symptoms, treatment options, and best practices for preventing infection.

Where Do You Get The Common Cold?

A common cold is a viral infection that is highly contagious and is spread by many different forms of viruses. Rhinoviruses are the main culprits behind the spread of most cold illnesses. These viruses lead to inflammation and hypersensitivity of the membranes lining the throat and nose. Though most common cold diagnosis happens during winter and early fall, cold chilly weather doesn't cause the common cold. Individuals are more likely to come down with a common cold If they are prone to nose and throat allergies, emotional distress, or experiencing physical tiredness.

Cold symptoms spread when droplets get airborne through coughing and sneezing by an infected person. Common cold can also spread through contaminated surfaces such as doorknobs, kitchen utensils, and shared desktop computers. Once you contract the virus, your body activates the self-defense mechanisms, white blood cells, to combat the invading virus. If your immune system cannot handle the common cold virus, your throat and nose suffer inflammation, leading to excess mucus.

Common Cold Prevention

Because common cold spreads mainly through air droplets and close contact with infected persons, containing it can be a real challenge. However, below are some practices to ensure you protect yourself and those around you from the common cold.

  • Always wash your hands with water and soap after visiting public washrooms or eateries. Common cold-causing viruses can remain active on your hands long after contact. As a result, regular handwashing using soapy water or an alcohol-based sanitizer is the best way to protect yourself.
  • Viruses find their way into our bodies via the nose, eyes, and mouth. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid touching these body parts, especially if your hands are unwashed.
  • Keep a safe distance from people displaying cold or flu-like symptoms. Avoid shaking hands, kissing, or hugging infected individuals.
  • It is advisable to stay indoors if you happen to catch a cold. Practice covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing to avoid launching the droplets airborne.

Treating Symptoms

Symptoms of the common cold include a running nose, complete or partial loss of smell, sneezing and nasal congestion, sore throat, watery eyes, coughing, headaches, breathing difficulties, and fatigue. Currently, there is no cure for a common cold. However, there are a few remedies you can adopt for relief against the symptoms. Doctors do prescribe some over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers. Always follow medicine instructions. 

Medication aside, home remedies are also effective at suppressing common cold symptoms. Such treatments may include taking warm showers to ease headaches and fever. Concoctions of garlic, ginger, and lemon are also effective in alleviating headaches and clearing blocked nasal passages. Chicken soup and salty water are other options you can explore if you have a common cold. As always, if symptoms persist, it's best to consult a doctor.

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If it is a medical emergency, call a certified doctor, visit the closest hospital, or dial emergency services immediately. Choosing to rely on this article is strictly done at your own risk.

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