common-cold
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Common cold

Common cold

Last Reviewed : 12/25/2020
Common cold

Common cold, also known simply as a cold, is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract that primarily affects the nose. The throat, sinuses, and voice box may also be affected. Signs and symptoms may begin less than two days following exposure. They include coughing, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, headache, and fever. People usually recover in seven to ten days. Some symptoms may last up to three weeks. In those with other health problems,pneumonia may occasionally develop.

Well over 200 virus strains are implicated in the cause of the common cold; the rhinoviruses are the most common. They spread through the air during close contact with infected people and indirectly through contact with objects in the environment followed by transfer to the mouth or nose. Risk factors include going to daycare, not sleeping well, and psychological stress. Symptoms are mostly due to the body's immune response to the infection rather than to tissue destruction by the viruses themselves. People with influenza often show similar symptoms as people with a cold, though symptoms are usually more severe in the former.

There is no vaccine for the common cold. The primary methods of prevention are hand washing; not touching the eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands; and staying away from other sick people. Some evidence supports the use of face masks. No cure for the common cold exists, but the symptoms can be treated. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen may help with pain. Antibiotics should not be used. Evidence does not support a benefit from cough medicines.

The common cold is the most frequent infectious disease in humans. The average adult gets two to four colds a year, while the average child may get six to eight. They occur more commonly during the winter. These infections have been with humanity since ancient times.

 

We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.

 

Basic information:

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/understanding-common-cold-basics web md understanding the common cold -- the basics

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/home/ovc-20199807 common cold mayo clinic common cold

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cold-common/pages/introduction.aspx nhs uk common cold

http://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/ cdc common colds: protect yourself and others

http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/cold.html kids health common cold

http://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu health line common cold

http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/common-cold/overview.html new york times common cold

http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious-diseases/respiratory-viruses/common-cold merck manuals (professional version) common cold

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/common-cold university of maryland medical center common cold

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_colds cleveland clinic common cold

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/pediatrics/upper_respiratory_infection_uri_or_common_cold_90,p02966/john hopkins medical library upper respiratory infection (uri or common cold)

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/colds better health channel colds

http://www.thefitindian.com/common-cold-symptoms/ the fit indian common cold symptoms – causes, treatments, and prevention measures

http://bodyandhealth.canada.com/condition/getcondition/the-common-cold canada common cold

https://www.healthychildren.org/english/health-issues/conditions/ear-nose-throat/pages/rhinovirus-infections.aspx healthy children rhinovirus infections.

 

Advanced information:

http://www.medicinenet.com/common_cold/article.htm medicine net common cold

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/166606.php medical news today common colds: symptoms, treatments, prevention

http://patient.info/in/health/common-cold-and-other-upper-respiratory-tract-infections patient common cold (and other upper respiratory tract infections)

http://www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/c/cold,-common/ health service executive cold, common

http://www.uptodate.com/contents/the-common-cold-in-adults-beyond-the-basics upto date patient education: the common cold in adults (beyond the basics)

 

Research:

http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=746567 echinacea for treating the common cold: a randomized trial bruce barrett, md, phd; roger brown, phd; dave rakel, md; marlon mundt, phd; kerry bone, dip phyto; shari barlow, ba; and tola ewers, ms ann intern med. 2010;153(12):769-777. Doi:10.7326/0003-4819-153-12-201012210-00003

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199108293250903#t=article psychological stress and susceptibility to the common cold by sheldon cohen, ph.d., et al., n engl j med 1991; 325:606-612august 29, 1991doi: 10.1056/nejm199108293250903

http://bmcfampract.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2296-6-6 influence of patient symptoms and physical findings on general practitioners' treatment of respiratory tract infections: a direct observation study by thomas fischer et al., bmc family practice20056:6 doi: 10.1186/1471-2296-6-6

http://europepmc.org/backend/ptpmcrender.fcgi?accid=pmc1160577&blobtype=pdf douglas rm, hemilä h (2005) vitamin c for preventing and treating the common cold. Plos med 2(6): e168.

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2008/616285/abs/ kenji kawakita, toshiyuki shichidou, etsuko inoue, et al., “do japanese style acupuncture and moxibustion reduce symptoms of the common cold?,” evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 481-489, 2008. Doi:10.1093/ecam/nem055

 

Related videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhmbunbkke8 common cold animation, how a cold develops free medical video medical videos

http://www.healthination.com/infections/common-cold/the-common-cold/ the common cold

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwgiyqv3nyc how does the common cold work?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bfmyykjls8 home remedies for common cold

 

Presentations/quiz/newspaper articles:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/common-cold the guardian

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-the-common-cold/2015/11/13/2588a7ba-829f-11e5-8ba6-cec48b74b2a7_story.html?utm_term=.7a711b465e2f washington post five myths about the common cold

http://www.livescience.com/56283-common-cold-rhinovirus-vaccine.html live science a vaccine for the common cold may be possible

http://edition.cnn.com/health/livingwell/cold.flu/ cnn common cold

http://theconversation.com/health-check-what-is-the-common-cold-and-how-do-we-get-it-60857 the conversation health check: what is the common cold and how do we get it?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/cold-camels-study-where-does-it-come-from-scientists-discover-mers-outbreak-a7198771.html independant humans caught the common cold from camels, scientists discover

https://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2015/11/09/why-there-is-still-no-cure-for-the-common-cold.html the star why there is still no cure for the common cold

http://www.today.com/health/cold-misery-which-remedies-work-which-are-waste-your-time-t68761 today cold misery: which remedies work, which are a waste of your time

http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/how-rid-cold-tried-tested-4444004 mirror how to get rid of a cold: tried and tested remedies for feeling better

https://www.scientificamerican.com/store/books/allergies-asthma-and-the-common-cold/ scientific american allergies, asthma and the common cold

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3695461/have-finally-cure-common-cold-taking-zinc-lozenges-speed-recovery-three-days.html daily mail have we finally found a cure for the common cold? Taking zinc lozenges can speed up recovery by three full days

read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3695461/have-finally-cure-common-cold-taking-zinc-lozenges-speed-recovery-three-days.html#ixzz4myvqbo8i

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