With the sudden change of seasonal weather and the mainly staying indoors, the spreading of colds is rampant. Colds or Upper respiratory tract infections are the most common cause of illness in both children and adults with viruses causing most of these colds. The viruses mutate readily and complete immunity is not possible. Due to the cool or wet weather, people spend more time indoors in contact with infected people either in the homes or closed in shopping centres.
These viruses are airborne spread usually by sneezing or coughing and hand contact. A good sneeze can project virus particles more than 15 metres and they may remain airborne.
Most people are familiar with common colds which feature a stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough, headache, red eyes, swollen and tender lymph glands and sometimes even nausea and loss of appetite. Less frequent are high fevers associated with colds. Most of these simple colds progress from a few days to a week or more. The duration depends upon your natural immunity and the specific virus involved.
The best treatment of a cold id plenty of warm fluids to keep up hydration. Nasal decongestants can relief many of the symptoms and help you keep upon working normally. Often muco-lytic lozenges help to relive sore throats. For a simple cold , bed rest is not normally necessary, just avoid overexertion. Antibiotics are usually of little benefit for colds and may be unnecessary. Symptomatic relief often helps you to keep on functioning.
Sometimes a simple cold can become a more serious such as when:
- When you are not drinking enough fluids
- Vomiting occurs
- There is intense headache
- Difficulty breathing
- A high fever
- There is no improvement in 48hrs
There is no proven way to prevent a cold, but keeping a healthy lifestyle ensures a shorter duration.