This is a viral infection that causes a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing and coughing.
The common cold is an upper respiratory infection that can be caused by over 200 different viruses. Rhinoviruses are the most common cause of the common cold.
The viruses that cause the common cold can spread by coughing, sneezing or touching a surface or object. Others can “catch” the virus if they breathe in the infected droplets or touch the infected surface, and then touch their nose or mouth. The first symptoms of the common cold usually begin rapidly, typically one to three days after contact with the virus. They can include:
The sore throat is usually brief. The runny nose and cough can last for one to two weeks.
If you have a cold, get plenty of rest and drink an adequate amount of fluids. You can also try running a cool mist humidifier to help keep your mucus membranes moist and ease a dry cough. (Make sure you follow the manufacturer's directions for cleaning the humidifier). Also, avoid cigarette smoke and other respiratory irritants. If your symptoms continue or get worse, you may have developed a bacterial infection on top of the virus (a secondary infection).
Some important things to remember when treating a child's cold symptoms:
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of a cold that are getting worse or not improving within seven to ten days. Be prepared to discuss your symptoms and how long you have had them.
Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.
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