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An acute inflammatory process that affects the nasopharynx. It is caused by viruses. Signs and symptoms include fever, coughing, sneezing, and sore throat.

Symptoms of Cold

The following features are indicative of Cold:
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • sore throat
  • mild fever
  • weakness
  • headache
  • aching joints

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Common Causes of Cold

The following are the most common causes of Cold:
  • rhinoviruses
  • respiratory syncytial virus
  • human parainfluenza viruses
  • human metapneumovirus

Other Causes of Cold

The following are the less common causes of Cold:
  • transmitted via airborne droplets
  • direct contact with infected nasal secretions
  • prolonged exposure to cold weather

Risk Factors for Cold

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Cold:
  • weakened immune system
  • smoking
  • exposure to viruses

Prevention of Cold

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Cold. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • wash hands daily with soap and water
  • do not touch your nose, mouth and eyes with unwashed hands
  • stay away from sick or infected people

Occurrence of Cold

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Cold cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Cold can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Cold can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Cold

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Cold:
  • Chest X-ray: To diagnose common cold

Doctor for Diagnosis of Cold

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Cold:
  • Infectious disease specialist

Complications of Cold if untreated

Yes, Cold causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Cold is left untreated:
  • asthma
  • acute sinusitis
  • strep throat
  • pneumonia
  • croup
  • bronchiolitis

Medicines for Cold

Below is the list of medicines used for Cold:

Self-care for Cold

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Cold:
  • Drink plenty of fluids: Prevents dehydration
  • Chicken soup and other warm fluids intake: Provides soothing effect and loosen congestion
  • Saltwater gargle: Helps in relieving sore or scratchy throat

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Cold

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Cold:
  • Vitamin C: Helpful in preventing cold
  • Echinacea: Prevents cold
  • Zinc supplements: Beneficial for treating cold

Time for Treatment of Cold

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Cold to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Is Cold Infectious?

Yes, Cold is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • hand-to-hand contact with infected people
  • contact with respiratory secretions or stool from an infected person

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Cold.

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