The common cold is a viral infection of the lining of the nose, sinuses, throat, and large airways.
Usually, colds are spread when a person's hands come in contact with nasal secretions from an infected person.
Colds often start with a scratchy or sore throat or discomfort in the nose, followed by sneezing, a runny nose, a cough, and a general feeling of illness.
Doctors base the diagnosis on symptoms.
Good hygiene, including frequent hand washing, is the best way to prevent colds.
Rest, decongestants, antihistamines, cough syrups, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(paracetamol, combiflam etc) can help relieve symptoms.
Is the Common Cold Contagious?
Colds are very contagious. In general, they are most contagious during the first few days of illness, when symptoms like congestion (stuffy nose) and sneezing are starting. Cold viruses often spread through direct contact.
Mode of Transmission:
Transmission is usually through droplets in the air
From a person's cough or sneeze.
A person touches respiratory droplets on another person or object and then touches their own mouth or nose.
A person infected with the virus can transmit the infection 1-2 days before onset of symptoms and 4-5 days after onset of symptoms.
Common cold and Viral fever usually lasts for 3 to 7 days. Common symptoms are:
Fever and chills
Non-productive cough (dry)
Runny or stuffy nose
Extremely tired (fatigue)
How does a common cold differ from flu?
Symptoms are more intense in flu (fever, body aches, tiredness, and dry cough).
Colds more likely to have runny or stuffy nose.
Colds don't result in serious health problems (pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations)
Usually self limiting, but can be serious in elderly and very young. Secondary infection by a bacteria may occur which may develop into a sore-throat or pneumonia.
There is no specific treatment for common cold and viral fever. Only the symptoms are treated. Always consult a doctor before starting any medication to rule out a secondary infection for which a specific treatment may be required.
Take plenty of fluids and water; it's important to be well hydrated. Avoid coffee and alcohol which may dehydrate you.
Over the counter medications like Paracetamol or Combiflam along with non sedating antihistamines like Allegra can be used.
Take a tablet of Vitamin B complex and vitamin C.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and take adequate rest to avoid complications.
Personal Hygiene: Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs; Wash with soap and water or Clean with a hand sanitizer.
Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
Keep hands away from face.
Avoid close contact with person who is suffering from a common cold or viral fever.
Avoid sharing personal articles with someone who is suffering from viral fever.
Improve your immunity by keeping yourself physically fit and active.
Stay home when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
We advise kids with common cold to stay at home instead of coming to day care.