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Common cold: Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment


What is a cold?

A common cold is an illness that impacts the respiratory system. A viral infection of the throat, nose, and upper airways, a cold can be caused by coronaviruses. However, this is just one of the more than 200 viruses that can cause this infection. Once a virus overpowers your body, an infection develops. In order to defend itself, a body produces mucus. The virus penetrates the mucus and takes control of the cell that makes protein. The viruses use this element to create more viruses which attack your cells. For this reason, colds keep recurring. An adult can get seven colds per year while children can become infected 12 times in a year. Antibiotics may not help in speeding up the recovery.


Symptoms are caused by your body’s reaction to the cold virus and they differ from one person to another. Some people with a very strong immune system may not experience any symptoms at all. Common symptoms of a cold include:

  • Cough
  • Dry throat
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Blocked nose


Other more rare symptoms are:


  • Pink eye
  • Shivering
  • Muscle ache
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Exhaustion

There are a few steps you can utilize to prevent a common cold from spreading. When sneezing or coughing use a tissue. Wash your hands on a regular basis before handling food. You should also use your own set of kitchen utensils. Do not share your towel with a person who has a cold. Additionally, you can take vitamin C as it minimizes your risks of catching a cold.


Colds generally clear up on their own. A cold takes a maximum period of 10 days however; the symptoms can last longer than three weeks. Antibiotics are often ineffective when it comes to treating colds. There is no proven way to treat colds. The measures below can come in handy to ease the symptoms.

  • Take plenty of bed rest – you need a lot of rest when your immune system becomes infected with the cold virus
  • Drink plenty of water – your body needs to be hydrated. You will feel worse when you are dehydrated.
  • Take painkillers – taking acetaminophen, aspirin or ibruprofen can help reduce the fever.
  • Gargle salt water
  • Use decongestants – this will help relieve blocked nasal passages

You should see a healthcare provider if symptoms are severe, last for more than three weeks, or include breathing difficulties. Babies and the elderly should received professional medical care when symptoms arise to prevent more serious complications.




Constipation refers to a condition characterized by irregular bowel movements and difficulty in passing stools. While occasional constipation is somewhat common with most people, chronic constipation requires medical attention and lifestyle changes. If you have sudden and unexpected trouble with bowel movements, Urgent Clinics Medical Care is here to help you manage the problem.



The pain, wheezing, breathing issues and constant coughing of asthma can be debilitating. Asthma symptoms are triggered when the airways swell and produce excess mucus. For some patients, asthma isn’t a big problem, but there are people who suffer setbacks in daily routines due to the condition. There is no cure for asthma, but it is possible to control the symptoms.



Allergies that are linked to things like dust and pollen often inflame the inside of the nose. This is a common condition that is known as allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis happens when the immune system believes particles are harmful and therefore produces mucus designed to rid the body of what the immune system believes to be harmful allergens.


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