The common cold is a transmissible upper respiratory infection brought about by a virus. Remember that there are hundreds of viruses capable of causing the ailment.
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- Fever especially among children
It is important to note that these symptoms generally arise 2-3 days after being infected and eventually settle within 7-10 days.
Common cold spreads via direct exposure or inhaling the droplets that contain the cold virus. The viruses should reach the mucus membrane which is the moist lining of the eyes, nostrils or mouth for an individual to become infected.
Management of common cold
Take note that there is no cure for common cold but adequate rest is the ideal way to quickly recover. A doctor must be consulted first before using any medication especially among children.
Over-the-counter medications for common cold can alleviate the symptoms. Nevertheless, the benefits of these medications are minor. Some of these medications include:
- Acetaminophen works by relieving the aches and discomfort of the cold without causing stomach upset.
- Decongestants can help relieve nasal congestion but has minimal effect and not suitable for children.
- Cough suppressants can help alleviate the cough among adults.
- Antihistamines are occasionally given to stop runny nose and sneezing
- Expectorants help loosen the mucus to be easily expelled.
Increasing the intake of fluids helps keeps the nose and throat moist and even loosen up the mucus. It is vital to avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages due to their drying effect.
- Always wash hands especially before preparing food or eating as well as after using the bathroom, wiping the nose or being exposed to an infected individual.
- Do not touch the nose and eyes to prevent the spread of the virus
- Avoid contact or exposure to individuals with common cold
- Adequate sleep, regular exercise and a healthy diet can help strengthen the immune system and help the body fight infections easier.
- Utilize hand sanitizers if water and soap are not available.