Common Cold

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The cold is the most common infectious disease. It is caused by virus transmitted through direct contact with an infected person, droplets from sneezing and coughing, and the use of articles contaminated by the virus.

The common cold (also known as “acute nasopharyngitis”) is a mild viral infectious disease of the nose and throat; the upper respiratory system. Symptoms include sneezing, sniffling, running/blocked nose (often these occur simultaneously, or one in each nostril); scratchy, sore, or phlegmy throat; coughing; headache; and tiredness. Colds typically last three to five days, with residual coughing lasting up to three weeks. As its name suggests, it is the most common of all human diseases, infecting subjects at an average rate of slightly over one infection per year per person. Infection rates greater than three infections per year per person are not uncommon in some populations. Children and their caretakers are at a higher risk, probably due to the high population density of schools and the fact that transmission to family members or caretakers is highly efficient.

The common cold belongs to the upper respiratory tract infections. It is different from influenza, a more severe viral infection of the respiratory tract that shows the additional symptoms of rapidly rising fever, chills, and body and muscle aches. While the common cold itself is hardly life threatening, its complications, such as pneumonia, can very well be.

Symptoms: Red, water eyes, sneezing

Treatment:
1. Stay in bed and have plenty of rest
2. Keep comfortably warm and protected from sudden changes in temperature.
3. Eat light foods and take plenty of liquids ? water, soup, milk and fruit juices.
4. Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing to avoid spreading the disease.
5. Blow nose gently
6. If symptoms persist, see a community health worker or doctor.

Prevention:
The community should participate in information dissemination on how to avoid the common cold:
1. Maintain general health as well as possible.
2. Go to bed early and have plenty of rest
3. Keep feet warm and dry
4. Avoid people who have the cold.
5. Avoid crowded places.
6. Use your own toilet articles.
7. Stay away from open doors or window when perspiring

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article “Common Cold”.

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