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Common Cold

A common cold is an infection of your upper respiratory tract. Although the common cold is usually mild, with symptoms lasting 1 to 2 weeks, it is a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from school and work. The primary family of viruses that cause common colds in adults are the rhinoviruses. Unfortunately, if you're like most adults, you're likely to have a common cold two to four times a year. Colds are most prevalent among children, and seem to be related to youngsters' relative lack of resistance to infection and to contacts with other children in day-care centers and schools Children have about 6 to 10 colds a year Adults average about 2 to 4 colds a year, although the range varies widely . Caused by a virus that inflames the membranes in the lining of the nose and throat, colds can be the result of more than 200 different viruses. Young children suffer from an average of six to eight colds per year. For this reason, colds are a frequent and recurring problem. The good news is that you or your child should be feeling better in about a week or so. In fact, on average, preschool children have 9 colds a year; those in kindergarten, 12 colds a year; and adolescents and adults, 7 colds per year

In the course of a year, individuals in the United States suffer one billion colds, according to some estimates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 million school days are lost annually in the United States due to the common cold Children, especially preschoolers, may have a common cold as many as eight to 10 times annually . A cold may last for about one week, but some colds last longer, especially in children, elderly people, and those in poor health. It is estimated that during a one-year period, people in the US will suffer one billion colds . Colds are most prevalent among children, and seem to be related to youngsters' relative lack of resistance to infection and to contacts with other children in day-care centers and schools . Because of the great number of viruses that can cause a cold, the body never builds up resistance against all of them. However, among all of the cold viruses, the rhinoviruses and the coronaviruses cause the majority of colds. The most common cold-causing viruses survive better when humidity is low—the colder months of the year. Cold weather also may make the inside lining of your nose drier and more vulnerable to viral infection.

Causes of Common Cold

The common causes of Common Cold :

  • Colds are caused by a viral infection.
  • Your child cannot "catch a cold" by standing out in the rain, not wearing a hat in cold weather, or losing sleep.
  • Air that's dry - indoors or out - can lower your child's resistance to infection by the viruses that cause colds.
  • Approximately 10 to 15 percent of adult colds are caused by viruses also responsible for other, more severe illnesses: adenoviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, orthomyxoviruses (including influenza A and B viruses, which cause flu), paramyxoviruses (including several parainfluenza viruses), respiratory syncytial virus, and enteroviruses.
  • Sneezing, nose-blowing, and nose-wiping spread the virus
  • A cold virus enters your body through your mouth or nose, but it's likely you also had a "hand" in your own illness.

Symptoms of Common Cold

Some common symptoms of Common Cold :

  • weakened senses of taste and smell
  • scratchy throat
  • Sneezing
  • The nose begins to run with a water-like secretion which gradually becomes thicker and more yellow.
  • Mucus buildup in your nose
  • Colds may lead to an ear infection or pneumonia
  • Coughing
  • Excessive fatigue
  • There may be pain on swallowing.
  • cough

Treatment of Common Cold

  • Gargling with warm salt water or using throat sprays or lozenges for a scratchy or sore throat
  • Taking aspirin or acetaminophen, Tylenol, for example, for headache or fever
  • Prescription and non-prescription products only help alleviate or reduce the symptoms of a cold.
  • Analgesics (pain relievers) help relieve body aches, sore throat and reduce fever.
  • petroleum jelly for raw, chapped skin around the nose and lips
  • over-the-counter antihistamines (medication that helps dry up nasal secretions and suppress coughing)
  • Your child and those around her should wash hands often, especially before eating and preparing food.
  • Use acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) for pain and fever relief.
  • Adults shouldn't use decongestant drops and sprays for more than a few days because prolonged use can cause chronic inflammation of your mucous membranes.


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