What is Common Cold?

Common cold is an infectious disease of upper respiratory tract (mainly nose and throat), caused by virus. Common cold is the most common infectious disease affecting humans. It is estimated that adults on an average contact common cold two to four times a year and children on an average contact common cold 6-12 times a year. Most common causative viruses are rhinoviruses and corona viruses, although there are more than 100 different viruses which can cause common cold and cause great variation of symptoms of common cold. Common cold is usually a harmless disease, although it may trouble you greatly. It is not uncommon among healthy individuals also and a healthy person may have a few attacks of common cold each year. The symptoms of common cold generally last for a week to 10 days and resolve spontaneously. If symptoms do not resolve within a week, you should consult your doctor. Sometimes symptoms may last as long as three weeks.

Common symptoms of common cold are fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough etc. Watery eyes, frequent sneezing and nasal congestions may also occur in common cold. All the symptoms mentioned here may or may not be present in one individual.

What are the synonyms of common cold?

The synonyms of common cold include acute coryza, flu, cold, nasopharyngitis, acute viral rhinopharyngitis etc.

Common cold, influenza and other types of upper respiratory tract infections (RTI) are collectively called influenza like illnesses.

There is a common phrase about common cold, that if you get treated for common cold by visiting a doctor, your common cold will be cured in a week and if you do not receive any treatment for common cold, you will be cured in seven days”. This phrase explains about common cold better than any explanation, as far as treatment requirement for common cold is concerned.

Common cold generally needs no treatment or if treated, it should be symptomatic treatment.

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