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23 Jul

Common Cold – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


By far one of the most common diseases present, the common cold is a viral infection of the nose and the throat. Unlike the flu, a common cold can be brought on by various causes. Usually, the disease is mild and gets resolved within two weeks.

Due to the many viruses that can cause a common cold, chances of it returning are high but they can be treated easily.


What are the various causes of a common cold?

The causes of the common cold are the various viruses that are present around us. They include:

  1. Rhinoviruses (around 50% of common colds stem from this virus)
  2. Human parainfluenza virus
  3. Human metapneumovirus
  4. Coronaviruses adenovirus
  5. Human respiratory syncytial virus
  6. Enterovirus


What are the symptoms of a common cold?

A common cold triggers the release of chemicals making the blood vessels leak causing our mucous glands to work harder to heal us.

Common symptoms include:

  1. Dry throat
  2. Sore throat
  3. Cough
  4. Mild fever
  5. Sneezing
  6. Hoarse voice
  7. Blocked noise
  8. Mild headache

Rarer symptoms include:

  1. Muscle aches
  2. Shivering
  3. Pink eye
  4. Weakness
  5. Reduction in appetite
  6. Extreme exhaustion


Any organs affected?

A common cold leads to an infection in the upper respiratory system. Due to this, the organs that get affected are the nose, throat, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs.



While it isn’t possible to completely avoid getting a common cold, certain preventive measures can be taken to ensure a healthier life. Preventive measures include:

  1. Drink plenty of fluids and keep well hydrated, being dehydrated when infected with a cold can make symptoms worse.
  2. Get plenty of bed rest; it is important to get as much sleep/rest as possible while the immune system is fighting off the virus.
  3. Take aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen to relieve headache or fever. Do not give aspirin to children under 16.
  4. Some people find that inhaling steam helps ease the symptoms of nasal congestion.




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