Infections on the respiratory tract are considered the most important human problems. The major number of respiratory infections are limited to the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat) and most of these infections are simply coughs and colds. According to the review by the World Health Organization of medical literature, drug therapy against viral common cold yields few countable benefits to the adults. Therapies done after addressing the symptoms, particularly oral or intranasal sympathomimetic, may provide a short-term relief clinically, however every symptomatic treatments to cure the common cold carry side effects.
Most people are caught by cold in the winter season, but we cannot say it is impossible to get cold in other seasons. Symptoms of the common cold usually include sore throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, headaches, and body aches. People with high immune systems recover within about 7-10 days. But, people with a weak immune system or has asthma, smokes, or has medical conditions that affect the breathing may develop a serious illness such as pneumonia.
Key facts about the common cold
- The healthy adult can also expect to get caught by 2-3 colds every year, and children even more.
- Rhinoviruses are the most common culprit to cause cold but it is not only the one!
- There are no proven ways to cure for a cold. To feel better, people should get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids.
- Normally, we get caught by a cold because of the lack of Vitamin C in the body. Citrus fruits contain the heaviest concentration of Vitamin C that can prevent the common cold. Fruits like orange, grapefruit, and fluids made with lemons are recommended to have during the common cold.
- Sore throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing are the most common symptoms of a cold.
- Taking preventive measures such as washing hands with soap and water often.
- Washing hands with normal water are not just enough to kill the virus. Washing hands often and for at least 20 seconds each time to get rid of the virus. If the soap water is not easily available, consider using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% of alcohol. Viruses can live longer in hands, and washing hand regularly can protect from being sick.
- Viruses can easily get inside the human body from eyes, nose, and mouth. Avoid touching face, doing nose-picking, rubbing eyes with unwashed hands to reduce the risk of getting cold.
- The common cold can be easily transmitted by the virus-infected airborne droplets or by an infected person so, staying away from sick people or using mask and gloves to meet them can protect from getting virus transmitted to your body.
- Using dry tissues while coughing, sneezing and disposing used tissues to a trashcan can prevent cold transmission to the people around you.
- Avoid sharing drinking glass or utensils with the family member having cold.
- Cleaning and disinfection frequently touched objects including toys, doorknobs.
Source: The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention