Common Cold

Common cold is an inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. This is one of the most common illnesses in humans. Usually caused by viral or bacterial infections, they are highly contagious. This can cause discomfort for your nose, throat, sinuses, and ears. Cold symptoms usually subside in 3-4 days.

CAUSES
Common cold may be caused by different kinds of viruses and bacteria. Microbes causing cold spread from person to person through droplets in the air or by touching surfaces contaminated by infected persons. The virus enters the body through mouth or nose when a contaminated hand comes in contact.

SYMPTOMS
Symptoms of common cold usually start after 2-3 days of infection. Usual symptoms are:
•    Running or stuffy nose
•    Sore throat
•    Watery eyes
•    Malaise
•    Decreased appetite
•    Low-grade fever
•    Cough
•    Mild headaches and muscle aches
•    Sneezing


Prevention
•    Clean your hands thoroughly and often
•    Always cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough, this prevents the spreading of these microbes.
•    Always sneeze and cough into tissues. Discard tissues right away and wash your hands.
•    Don’t share drinking glass, utensils, when someone is sick in your family.
•     Avoid close and prolonged contact with anyone who has a cold.


Management

•    Keep well hydrated with lot of water and juices.
•    Keep your room warm
•    Steam inhalation will help in reducing symptoms
•    Warm salt water gargling will soothe the throat
•    Try to get at least eight hours of sleep daily.
•    Avoid smoke and smoking
•    Lozenges will give some smoothening action.


Treatment
Your doctor may prescribe pain relievers, cough syrups, decongestants and lozenges to relieve symptoms.

This piece is contributed by AUN Clinic. For further information, please contact aunclinic@aun.edu.ng

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