Common cold is a viral infection that affects the upper respiratory tract which consists of the nose and throat. Although symptoms may interfere with your everyday function, common cold is not a serious illness and usually leaves the body after a few days. Everyone has been through this disease–– runny nose, sore throat, and cough. But how are we catching the common cold?
Although there are 200 types of viruses that cause the disease like respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza virus, and coronavirus, the rhinovirus is the main culprit of most common cold cases. It is almost everywhere during early fall, spring, and winter, making itself responsible for 50% of colds in humans. Moreover, rhinovirus thrive in temperatures 33–35 °C, the temperatures found in the nose.
A common cold virus is sneaky. If someone who is sick coughs, sneezes, or even talks, the virus will spread through the droplets in the air and enter through another person’s eyes, nose, or mouth. Avoid sharing utensils, phones, drinks, and other things that have been used by someone with a cold; the virus can also leave its mark on objects that a sick person touches.
What increases one’s risk of catching a common cold depends on a variety of factors. The virus can easily penetrate weak immune systems. Smoking also attracts the virus and can even lead to much worse diseases. Other factors such as age in which children younger than six years old have higher chances of getting a common cold, seasons such as fall, spring, and winter where the virus is more active, and exposure to a lot of people where anyone may have the disease, should also be monitored.
Symptoms of common cold
We have all been through a common cold. Adults may catch a cold two to three times a year while children get the disease six to eight times. Common cold symptoms include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Slight body aches
- Mild headache
- Low-grade fever
- Feeling unwell
Common cold prevention
Expect the disease to go away in a week. However, nothing feels better than having no disease at all. You can prevent having a common cold by simply incorporating habits that can strengthen your immune system keeping yourself cautious and clean. Always wash your hands as many times as you can, regularly disinfect your belongings, don’t share your stuff with other people, distance yourself from people with common cold, and drink lots of vitamin c.