You might have observed people suffering from cold with sneezing and runny nose, throughout the year. Getting cold is very common in people of all ages, especially in children younger than six years of age. It is one of the most widespread viral infections of the upper respiratory tract, which includes nose and throat.
Several viruses can cause cold and are easily transferred from person to person when a person sneezes or coughs. You may be able to identify cold by the symptoms a person shows. A person with a virus would cough, sneeze and have a runny nose. They would also have a sore throat, low-grade fever, and nasal congestion. At our urgent care the doctors will be able to help you identify the symptoms of cold and provide treatment if required.
Causes of Common Cold
Though more than 200 types of viruses cause the common cold. Rhinovirus is said to cause 30% to 40% of the cold as it multiples rapidly. Rhinovirus is at its peak during the months from September to November and March to May. During these months it may cause around 80% of the cold. However, cold can be caused at any time during the year. Since several viruses cause cold and, new viruses keep developing the human body is never able to fight the viruses well.
Most commonly, the virus spreads by being in close contact with the person who has a cold. When the person with cold coughs, sneezes or talks the virus through air droplets enters another person’s nose, mouth, and eyes. It is also easily spread by sharing things like towels, utensils, and other daily use items. A hand to hand touch also spread cold rapidly. Our doctors at San Ramon Urgent Care make sure that the patient are made aware of the reasons that cause cold so that it can be prevented.
Risk factors of Common Cold
The chances of spread of cold increase in the following cases:
- Weak immune system
- Lack of sleep
Age is a prominent factor in catching a cold. Children younger than five or six years of age are more susceptible to cold as their immune system is still developing resistance to several viruses. Children, coming in close contact with other children while playing or in school, tend to catch a cold easily from each other.
Young children often do not wash their hands frequently or do not cover their nose and mouth when they sneeze or cough. Therefore, they tend to spread the virus to other children quickly. Training children to frequently wash their hands and covering their mouths while sneezing and coughing will reduce the chances of spreading the virus.
2. Weak immune system
Be it children, adults, or old aged people, all those with a weak immune system tend to catch cold much faster than the others. Since a weak immune system would not have the ability to fight the virus, it would make the virus affect the body easily. A healthy diet with citric fruits, vegetables, and dry fruits can boost their immune system.
Season does have an impact on the spread of a cold. Cold usually becomes active in winter months and during the rainy season. During such times most people prefer spending time indoors, which increases the chances of being in close proximity to others. Even if one person catches a cold, the other then will pick it.
Smoking is one of the addictions that disrupt and eventually destroys the immune system. People who smoke actively have higher chances of catching a cold. Children who inhale smoke passively develop many respiratory issues due to which even a common cold might turn into pneumonia.
5. Lack of sleep
Among various factors that make the immune system weak is lack of sleep. When a person is not sleeping well, he/ she increases the chances of viruses attacking them. For a healthy immune system, a proper rest of a minimum of eight hours is necessary for adults and ten hours for children.
Common cold treatment and prevention
Symptoms of common cold start appearing two to three days after the virus attacks but eventually cold will subside in seven to ten days automatically. Furthermore, the common cold is extremely contagious from two days before the symptoms start showing up until the symptoms completely fade away.
Though common cold never requires the use of antibiotics, however, medicines would help to relieve symptoms like fever or headache. The simplest way to be safe from cold is to prevent it. Washing hands frequently and discarding used tissue paper right after sneezing are some of the safety measures. Furthermore, there might be instances where a cold might lead to severe problems such as difficulty in breathing and severe headache. In such a case the patients should visit our urgent care. Our experts at San Ramon Urgent Care will take immediate care of the patient with a common cold.
Are common cold and flu similar?
Apparently, both seem similar and would have the same symptoms. However, flu is caused by the influenza virus as opposed to cold, which can be caused by numeral viruses. People having flu would appear more ill and might experience fever, chills, and headache. Whereas, people who have a common cold would have a mild illness.
Confusing Pneumonia with common cold
There are instances where people confuse pneumonia with a common cold as both have similar symptoms. However, people need to be aware as pneumonia is harmful for health. Parents should be caution of the signs and if the condition of the child become intense they should immediately contact San Ramon Urgent Care.
Only a professional doctor will be able to identify whether a common cold has gone worse and is causing severe health problems. So if you or your loved one is having a common cold contact us or visit our clinics at San Ramon, Manteca or Lathrop and doctors at San Ramon Urgent Care will take care of your health.
San Ramon Urgent Care & Clinic
Rajesh Maheshwari, MD
Care Physician & Urgent Care located in East Bay, San Ramon, CA
Rare is the San Ramon resident who has not experienced the common cold. From early childhood throughout the golden years, the common cold is a health matter that affects virtually everyone. When cold symptoms become difficult to bear, San Ramon Urgent Care & Clinic is here to help.
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