Cold, generally referred to as common cold is an infectious disease caused by virus. Mainly affecting the upper respiratory tract, cold which is technically labeled as ‘rhino viral pharyngitis’ is caused owing to the infection of ‘rhinivirus’ and ‘coronavirus’. As suggested by its name, cold happens to be one of the most common viral infections, with adults as well as children being susceptible to this viral infection of the contagious type.
What are the Causes of Common Cold & Fever
- The cause of cold is purely viral in origin. Besides rhinovirus and corona virus, virus causing influenza and that causing parainfluenza are also responsible.
- Other than these respiratory syncitial virus, entero and adeno virus can also lead to common cold.
- Viruses which are highly infectious and contagious in nature stand the risk of being spread by touch, moisture and air.
- Sharing a common enclosure with an infected person or person may also lead to the spread of the infection.
- Exposure to cold temperature may not necessarily lead to common cold.
- Essentially being an air or moisture borne infection; less humidity facilitates the fast transfer of infection.
- A person habituated to smoking stands a higher risk of contracting the infection.
- Likewise light sleepers sleeping less than seven hours are at a higher risk of contracting the mentioned viruses.
- It is interesting to note that people with a stronger or a better immune system exhibit the palpable symptoms of common cold; with people with a lower immunity being its passive carriers.
What are the Symptoms of Cold and Fever
- While the activity of the virus begins two to three hours of having contracted it; the manifesting symptoms take two to seven days to exhibit.
- The usually prevailing symptoms include nasal blockage& secretion, runny nose, fever, head and body ache.
- At times pink eye or conjunctivitis may also develop owing to cold.
- There may be shivering and feeling of chilliness as well.
- Absence of appetite and general sense of fatigue may also result owing to it.
- Sneezing, cough, sore throat with scratchy irritation, and running nose are some of the most vital symptoms to be found on being affected by virus of the mentioned kind.
Common Cold Diagnosis
- With overall acquaintance of people with symptoms of common cold; it can often be self diagnosed.
- Usually the virus contracted takes seven to eight days to get deactivated.
- But if the symptoms persist well beyond a week, it is imperative that you opt for medical help.
- As soon as the diagnosis is made, it is necessary to adopt a treatment and self care regimen.
- Absence of proper care and treatment may lead to different kinds of complications such as pneumonia, sinusitis and bronchitis.
Treatment for Cold and Fever
- Antibiotics are generally not prescribed by medical practitioners to treat common cold.
- Antibiotics are prescribed sometimes to avoid the risks of secondary infection; or when the physician feels that the concerned patient has also adopted a bacterial infection.
- Sometimes analgesic medication in acetaminophen is prescribed to reduce the symptoms of aches and fever.
- Particularly for children below six, use of antibiotics is strictly disallowed.
- For treating children affected with cold, it is better to consult pediatric physician before administering drugs or any other remedial device.
- Sometimes nasal drops and sprays saline in content are recommended for children and it is mandatory that you stick to the dosage advised by the physician.
- Some of the latest developed anti viral formulas are often prescribed; but those also include their own risks.
- Usually people affected with cold virus are advised to include lot of fluids as part of their self care regimen.
- Rest is also advised.
- As part of alternative therapy, capsules or supplements in Vitamin C, Zinc and Echinacea are prescribed so as to get rid of phlegm and irritating nasal congestion.
- In order to boost nourishment and devitalize the virus hot chicken soup can be had.
- Sometimes the use of vaporizer proves to be soothingly relieving.
- Similarly relieving is the massage of mentholated gels and ointments.
How to Prevent Common Cold -
- People undergoing treatment for cancer, kidney ailment, diabetes and cardiac ailment should be particularly careful about avoiding cold.
- Daily consumption of homemade curd will reduce the chances of contracting viruses responsible for causing cold.
- It is better to avoid self medication using drugs such as aspirin on being contracted by the concerned virus.
- Over covering the body with woolen and similar other stuffs should be avoided.
- Warm gurgling will not only serve to reduce the symptoms of cold; but the same process resorted to during seasonal change will prevent you from catching cold.
- Similarly warm decoction of lemon, water and ginger or herbal tea enriched with chamomile will work as antidotes to cold.