There are more than 200 viruses that can cause colds; the rhinoviruses, also known as ""nose viruses,"" are the main family of viruses that cause common colds in adults. The name ""nose viruses"" comes from the Greek word ""rhino,"" which means nose. The common cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract, which includes the nose, nasal passages, and throat.
What signs indicate a common cold?
Early symptoms of a cold include red eyes, a sore throat, sneezing, and a runny nose. Other symptoms that may appear include headache, stuffy nose, watering eyes, hacking cough, chills, muscle aches, and general malaise (ill-feeling). The common cold may be accompanied by: laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx or ""voice box"""") tracheitis (infection of the trachea) (inflammation of the lungs)
Can a person have a cold virus infection and not exhibit symptoms?
When people are infected, they can be asymptomatic (i.e., showing no symptoms); this is called a sub-clinical infection since the infection is not causing a disease. Most people with colds show mild symptoms, but severe colds can have symptoms of headache, fever, aches and pains all over, stuffy nose, and coughing. Yes, it is even possible to be exposed to cold viruses and not become infected.
What is the extent of the common cold?
It has been estimated that adults have 2 to 5 colds each year; colds are one of the most common reasons for missed work days because they are so common that very few people can avoid being sick with them.
How do viruses that cause the common cold spread?
In comparison to other infectious diseases, colds are actually not very contagious. Close personal and prolonged contact is required for the cold viruses to spread. Inhaling contaminated droplets produced when someone else coughs or sneezes may be one way to catch a cold. Cold viruses can remain contagious even if they are outspread.
Does the common cold have a treatment?
There is currently no vaccine or cure for the common cold; however, treating the symptoms with over-the-counter medications, getting lots of rest, and hydrating yourself may help. Good health practices are important in preventing the spread of the common cold, such as frequent hand washing with soap and water, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers when soap and water are not available, avoiding close contact with sick people, and coughing and sneezing into your elbow (e.g., keeping 1-2 metres between individuals, using teleconferencing or remote work technology, etc.)
Are colds brought on by chills or exposure to the cold?
People tend to blame cool temperatures for getting a cold rather than being in closer, prolonged contact with people who have a cold. Again, it is not the temperature that is the cause of colds. Some people may sneeze if their skin is cooled. More people catch colds when the weather temperature is cold than when it is warm outside."""