Common cold symptoms

Description of Common cold symptoms

Common cold is one of the most common infections that can occur. It is also known as nasopharyngitis and coryza, the infection is viral in origin and is caused by corona viruses and rhinoviruses. It is an infection of the upper respiratory tract and is characterized by fever, runny nose, sore throat, and cough. The common cold is a self-limiting condition and can last anywhere between 5 and 10 days.
Signs and Symptoms
The first symptom of common cold is a sore throat. However, it is followed by other symptoms such as:
1. Fever
2. Cough
3. Sore throat
4. A runny nose and nasal congestion
5. Loss of appetite
6. Muscle pain
7. Fatigue
8. Headaches
The cold occurs within 2 to 3 days after coming in contact with the virus. In children, fever is a common feature.
Causes and Risk Factors
1. Common cold is caused by infection of rhinovirus (virus that resides in the nasal passage of the humans). It can also be caused by coronavirus and adenovirus.
2. Commonly spread via contact such as hand to hand contact and by fomites.
3. Change of weather
4. Inhalation of small suspended particles in the air
Prevention and Treatment
1. It is best to avoid close contact with the infected person
2. Wash your hands frequently
3. No medication is recommended as such
4. Try zinc supplements
5. Increase intake of vitamin C rich foods and fruits
6. In severe cases, the doctor may advice antibiotics
Content Details
Last updated on:
05 Jan 2018 | 03:45 PM (IST)
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Frequently Asked Questions about Common cold symptoms

Celery, a rich source of Vitamin C, helps in boosting the immune system. It thereby helps in keeping you from catching the common cold and also protects you against a host of other diseases. Ways To Use: A delicious fruit salad can be prepared by mixing sliced apples along with peanuts, raisins and chopped celery leaves in a bowl. Mix orange juice and mayonnaise and drizzle it on the mixture.
Tulsi leaves help lower high body temperature and boost production of antibodies thereby preventing infections. Add three to four tulsi leaves to a glass of boiling water. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Have this drink two to three times a day.
Black pepper provides relief from sinusitis and nasal congestion and helps expel mucus and phlegm through the act of sneezing or coughing. You could add black pepper in gravies or have a one-sixth teaspoon of crushed/powdered black pepper with a teaspoon of honey two to three times a day.
Some herbs to prevent and treat a cold are:1) Lehsun (garlic) 2) Adrak (ginger) 3) Tulsi (basil Leaves) 4) Haldi (turmeric) 5) Dalchini (cinnamon) 6) Pudina (peppermint) 7) Kali mirch (black pepper) 8) Ajwain (thyme) 9) Baboon ka phool (chamomile) 10) Laung (clove)
Turmeric has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties as it contains a chemical compound called curcumin. This helps in preventing cold and boosts immunity. Besides adding it to your daily cooking, add half to one teaspoon of raw crushed turmeric to a glass of warm milk and have this daily during winter months.
Thyme is an excellent pulmonary disinfectant and its inhalation helps treat chronic infections that linger in the sinuses. It has essential oils with antibacterial and immune boosting properties. Crackle (tadka) a teaspoon of thyme seeds and add them to vegetables or pulses. You could also roast the seeds and inhale the aroma.
Most of the times, a sore throat goes away on its own in a week’s time without the need of an antibiotic. If your sore throat lasts longer than 1 to 2 weeks or you have a temperature higher than 100.4°F or any other unusual symptom, then you need an antibiotic as advised by your doctor. Antibiotics are meant for treating bacterial infections. Since most sore throats are viral, using an antibiotic will not cure the condition. Taking antibiotics for viral infections will not only be costly but will also cause unwanted side effects like diarrhea and vomiting. Misuse and overuse of antibiotics lead to antibiotic resistance, a phenomenon that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of antibiotics.
A sore throat is a condition marked by pain, itchiness, or irritation of the throat. A sore throat is mostly caused by a virus and goes away on its own.
Garlic, with its antiviral properties, boosts immunity. It helps prevent and reduce the severity of common cold. 1) You could have one to two cloves of raw garlic daily with water. 2) If you find it difficult to have raw garlic, then you may try having one to two chopped garlic cloves with a teaspoon of honey or as a garlic mint dip. 3) You may also add finely chopped garlic to your soups.
With remarkable antifungal and antibacterial properties, cinnamon is very effective in relieving symptoms of common cold. Cinnamon can be added to gravies and curries. You could also add hot vanilla with cinnamon or one-fourth teaspoon of cinnamon powder with one teaspoon of honey and have it during winter months.
Chamomile has amazing antimicrobial and antibacterial benefits. It owes its antibacterial properties to chamazulene. Have chamomile tea three to four times a day to help in relieving symptoms of cold.
Ginger lowers the risk of infections and inhibits the growth of many types of bacteria. You could have ginger in the form of ginger water or ginger-honey tea or add it to your daily cooking.
Pudina helps kill bacteria and viruses, reduces body aches, thins mucus, and breaks up phlegm due to the presence of menthol which is a decongestant. You could have it as lukewarm mint-lemonade to get the most out of this herb. You can also add dried crushed pudina powder to curd or salads for added benefits.
Clove boosts immunity and helps in getting rid of phlegm. Add a few cloves in your morning cup of tea and enjoy a congestion free day.
Some simple ways to help relieve a sore throat: 1) Take plenty of rest. 2) Gargle often with warm salt water. This helps to reduce throat swelling and pain. Mix one tsp (5 g) of salt 240 mL of warm water. 3) Drink extra fluids to soothe the throat. Honey or lemon in tea may help. 4) Try steam inhalation to help relieve congestion. 5) To relieve the pain from a sore throat, one can take over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol or throat lozenges. 6) If there is a persistent cough, one can try a cough syrup based on the type of a cough. Consult your doctor for the same.