Common Cold

6:19 am Health Care
  • It is benign self–limiting syndrome caused by several viruses.
  • It is one of the most frequent acute illnesses.
  • The term ‘common cold’ refers to a mild upper respiratory viral illness presenting with sneezing, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, low grade fever, headache and malaise.
  • Common cold is not the same as influenza or common sore throat, which can also involve the heart.
  • Common cold affects a pre–school child 5–7 times in a year and adult 2–3 times in a year.
  • It can spread by hand contact, by direct contact with the infected person or by indirect contact with a contaminated environmental surface.
  • It can also spread by small particle droplets that become airborne from sneezing or coughing.
  • It can also be transmitted via large particle droplets that typically require close contact with infected person.
  • Most important is hand to hand transmission of the virus.
  • Infection can also spread through circulating air in commercial airline passenger cabins.
  • Saliva does not spread any cold.
  • The disease is most infectious on the 2nd and 3rd day of illness.
  • However, a person may be infectious for upto two weeks.
  • Normal cold may last for 8–10 days.
  • The diagnosis is based on clinical findings.
  • Common cold can exacerbate asthma in susceptible individuals.

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