The common cold (also known as nasopharyngitis, acute viral rhinopharyngitis, acute coryza, or a cold)) is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory system.
Causes of Common Cold
- Primarily by rhinoviruses and coronaviruses. More than 200 different types of viruses are known to cause the common cold, with rhinovirus causing approximately 30%-35% of all adult colds. Other commonly implicated viruses include coronavirus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and parainfluenza virus.
- Immunological factors: Low immunity leads to frequent infections
- Infections: Bacterial, viral
- Allergens: Food, pollen, dust, mites, others
- Environment: Extreme cold, heat
- Poor health
- Nutritional deficiency
Duration of Infection
Most infectious during the first two to three days of symptoms however is also infectious for a couple of days before the onset of symptoms and may still be somewhat infectious until symptoms have completely resolved.
Transmission of Common Cold
- Direct contact with infected secretions from contaminated surfaces or by inhaling the airborne virus after individuals sneeze or cough.
- Person-to-person transmission often occurs when an individual who has a cold blows or touches their nose and then touches someone or something else.
- A healthy individual who then makes direct contact with these secretions can subsequently become infected, often after their contaminated hands make contact with their own eyes or nose
Symptoms of Common Cold
- sore throat
- nasal congestion
- runny nose
- Sometimes this may be accompanied by conjunctivitis (pink eye), muscle aches, fatigue, headaches, shivering, and loss of appetite.
- Fever is often present thus creating a symptom picture which overlaps with influenza