A cold

What is a cold and what causes it?

The common cold is a contagious illness that can be caused by several different types of viruses.

A cold is defined by medical science as an infection of the upper respiratory tract. The symptoms of a cold in most cases are: cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, runny nose and sneezing.

More than 200 different types of viruses are known to cause the common cold, rhinovirus causes approximately 30-35% of common colds in the elderly.

Other viruses that often cause this type of cold disease are usually: coronavirus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza virus.

Because so many and different types of viruses can cause a cold, and because new varieties of them are constantly appearing, the human body is not able to build immunity against all of them.

For this reason, colds are a common and recurring problem. In fact, preschool and elementary school-aged children can catch colds 6 to 12 times a year, while teenagers and adults usually catch colds up to 4 times a year.

The common cold is the most common illness in the world and the leading cause of doctor visits and missed work and school.

In the EU, the total number of colds is estimated to be around 1 billion per year, with missed school and work time of around 22 million per year.

The common cold is also responsible for between 75 and 100 million doctor visits per year within the European Union, with the economic impact of this disease estimated at around €20 billion per year due to lost output due to absenteeism.

How is the common cold transmitted?

The common cold is spread by direct contact with infected bodily secretions from infected surfaces or by inhaling the virus from the air through sneezing or coughing.

Transmission usually occurs when an infected person touches their nose or mouth and then touches someone else or some surface that is already infected.

Cold symptoms usually appear two to three days after catching the infection (incubation period), but this period can vary depending on the virus that caused the infection.

Symptoms are characterized by the virus causing the common cold:

  • Congested or runny nose;
  • Inflamed or irritated throat;
  • Frequent sneezing;
  • Hoarse and hoarse voice;
  • Cough;
  • Tearing ;
  • Not very high temperature, but higher than normal;
  • Headache;
  • Pains in different parts of the body;
  • Fatigue.

Cold symptoms in babies and young children are similar to those observed in adults.

A cold can start with a runny nose with a nasal discharge that is usually yellowish or greenish in color. Infants and young children become more cranky and have a reduced appetite.

Treating a cold

A cold is a self-limiting illness that heals on its own. At first, its treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms while the immune system deals with the cold infection.

Treatment usually involves getting more rest and drinking plenty of fluids.

For older children and adults, pharmacies offer lozenges, throat sprays, and cough syrups that can relieve symptoms. Gargling with warm salt water will relieve sore throats.

Drops and sprays help with a runny or stuffy nose. Exposure to the sun also helps, which will warm the area of ​​the nose, and so in about 1 hour of exposure to the sun, you will get rid of the nasal symptoms accompanying the cold disease.

Treatment for infants and small children is also rest and more fluids, but cold medicines available in pharmacies are contraindicated.

Cold Prevention

Cold prevention is key, especially during the fall and winter months when we are at greater risk for colds.

In these seasons when temperatures are low and the immune system is under pressure, regular intake of vitamin C is recommended.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system and helps the body fight infections.

It also stimulates the production of white blood cells, which are essential for fighting viruses and bacteria.

Vitamin C can be found in a variety of foods, including citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit, and vegetables such as broccoli and spinach.

Also, many people choose to take vitamin C in supplement form to ensure they are getting enough of this important vitamin.

However, vitamin C is not the only defense against the common cold. When you are already infected, it is advisable to increase your intake of vitamin A.

This vitamin is known for its immune-stimulating properties and can help the body deal with the virus faster. Vitamin A supports the health of the skin and mucous membranes, which are the first line of defense against viruses.

Vitamin A can be found in foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and red meat. As with vitamin C, many people choose to take vitamin A in supplement form to ensure they are getting enough of this important vitamin.

In conclusion, it is important to emphasize that although the common cold is usually a harmless disease, its prevention and treatment require attention and care.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a vitamin-rich diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep, can help maintain a strong immune system that is able to deal with viruses, including these , causing a cold.

At the first signs of a cold, do not hesitate to consult a doctor and apply appropriate treatment measures to speed up the recovery process and return to your normal life as quickly as possible.

Also, it is important to remember that prevention is the best defense. Avoid contact with people who are already sick and make sure that hygiene habits are followed, such as regular hand washing, especially during cold season.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button