Common cold, or simply cold, is the most common condition affecting mankind every year, with an average of 2 to 5 infections annually in adults.
Let the cold not be so common anymore | September 10, 2019Common cold, or simply cold, is the most common condition affecting mankind every year, with an average of 2 to 5 infections annually in adults. The number of infections is much higher in children and the elderly. Complications are rare, except in the very young or old or in those with low immunity. Common cold is an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus. Its symptoms are well known and begin with tiredness, followed by sneezing, headache, runny nose and cough. The illness resolves within a week, although sometimes it can last for up to 3 weeks. How is the virus transmitted?
- When a person sneezes, his nasal droplets sprayed into the air contains a heavy load of virus. This can directly infect a person in the vicinity
- The virus remains alive for prolonged duration of time on tables, desks, keyboards of computers, etc., and infect a person when he touches it
- An infected child can spread the virus through toys, books, pencils, etc. This is common in daycare and schools
- There is no cure for common cold
- Plenty of warm fluids like soups should be offered to the person
- Steam inhalation 2-3 times a day provides relief by its soothening effect
- Sore throat can benefit from warm saline gargles 2-3 times a day
- Doctors may prescribe medications such as antihistamines, pain relievers, paracetamol, etc. Avoid using cold-and-cough medications in children younger than 4 years due to the risk of serious complications
- Zinc, vitamin C, etc have been tried but none have proven benefits
- Wash hands thoroughly especially after being at public places. An antibacterial soap is ideal, but you may use a hand sanitizer instead
- Do not touch your face, nose, eyes as far as possible, especially if you are in a public area
- Keep surfaces like tables, drawer pulls, keyboards, mouse, light switches, remote controls, etc. clean and wipe with disinfectant solution if an infected person is around
- It is also important to follow a balanced diet, get regular exercise and beat stress.