The Most Important Facts About the Common Cold

common cold virus infectionThe common cold is caused by infection from one of many different viruses. A virus attaches itself to the lining of your nasal passages or throat. The common cold is probably the most common respiratory (breathing) disease. Many different viruses can cause a cold; on the hundred cold viruses (rhinoviruses) have been identified to date. It is known as Rhinovirus, sooner or later will take somebody down by using it, and last for quite a while.

There’s far more to the common cold than meets the eye. Some of us are over familiar with the flu­like symptoms, there’s plenty we do not know about this common condition. Here are some information about the common cold to help us realise why it’s so easily caught, and the way to hopefully prevent getting this virus to begin with.

How cold viruses cause disease

Viruses cause infection by overcoming your body’s complex defense system. The body’s first type of defense is mucus, made by the membranes in the nose and throat. Mucus traps the fabric we inhale: pollen, dust, bacteria, and viruses. Whenever a virus penetrates the mucus and enters a cell, it commandeers the protein­making machinery to fabricate new viruses, which, in turn, attack surrounding cells.

Cold symptoms

Cold symptoms are some of the result of the body’s immune response to the viral attack. Virus­ infected cells within the nose send out signals that recruit specialized white blood cells towards the site of the infection. In turn, these cells emit a variety of immune system chemicals such as kinins. These chemicals probably result in the symptoms of the common cold by causing swelling and inflammation of the nasal membranes, leakage of proteins and fluid from capillaries and lymph vessels, and also the increased production of mucus.

Cold Prevention

Handwashing may be the simplest and most effective way to keep from getting rhinovirus colds. Not touching the nose or eyes is another. People with colds should always sneeze or cough into a facial tissue, and promptly dispose of it. Because rhinoviruses can survive as much as three hours outside the nasal passages on inanimate objects or skin, sterilization of environmental surfaces having a virus­killing disinfectant might help prevent spread of infection.

Common Cold Treatment

Only symptomatic treatment can be obtained for uncomplicated cases of the common cold: bed rest, plenty of fluids, gargling with warm salt water, applying petroleum jelly to some raw nose, and taking aspirin or acetaminophen to relieve fever or headache. Nonprescription cold remedies, including cough suppressants and decongestants, may mitigate some cold symptoms but can’t prevent, cure, or even shorten the duration of illness.


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