Common Cold


Cold is an upper respiratory tract infection that many people believe comes when you are exposed to cold weather. This is just a myth as there are other causes that lead to common cold. More than 200 viruses are responsible for the development of common cold.

The common cold is transferred when you inhale particles that have viruses from someone who is infected. This can be through sneezing, coughing, or any loose particles that could be transferred when the person wipes the nose. Touching a contaminated item such as doorknobs could also contribute the spread of common cold.

From observation, colds are common during the winter season. This is attributed to the fact people tend to spend more hours indoors, where air is drier. This makes the nasal passage to dry up, exposing the person to greater risk of getting the virus. Humidity levels during the winter season are also low and cold viruses survive better in low humidity.

Viruses responsible for common cold
Human Rhinoviruses (HRVs)
This group, which consists of over 100 types, is the most common identified cause of common colds. It causes up to 50 percent of colds. The viruses flourish well at temperature in the nose.

It is also revealed that Human Rhinoviruses are not contagious, but could lead to severe health problems. Human Rhinoviruses work by manipulating genes and this manipulation is the cause for overblown response of the immune system. The response leads to troublesome symptoms and conditions.

There exists many varieties of the viruses, which affect animals and only five are harmful to humans. This group represents the second leading reason for the eruption of common cold. It causes up to 15 percent of common colds in adults. SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) is reported to emanate from a species of coronavirus, which does not cause common cold.

Human Parainfluenza Viruses (HPIVs)
This group does not cause severe effects when one contacts the virus. The infections are mild, but may cause serious lower tract infections in case it involves children and people with weak immune systems. Toddlers with asthma and lung infections are more likely to develop problems such as pneumonia when the virus attacks.

Risk factors

Infants and children who are yet to start school have weak resistance to viruses, so they are more susceptible. Children also spend most of their time out playing with other children, who could be carrying viruses that cause common cold. They are also not keen on cleaning their hands and covering their mouths and noses while sneezing. If common cold interferes with the breathing system in kids, it can prove a big challenge.
As one gets older, the body becomes immune to many viruses that are associated with common colds. A mature person will have common cold less than young growing individuals. However, when exposed, you can also fall sick.
In severe conditions, common colds may lead to acute ear infection. This includes earaches and a discharge from the nose. Also if common cold is not resolved could lead to sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinuses.

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