There are many viruses that can cause the common cold, but the Rhinovirus is the most common. These viral infections affect your nose, throat, and upper respiratory system, and normally easy to recover from. Symptoms can vary, but for the most part include runny/stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, congestion, sore throat, mild fever, headache, and body ache.
Common cold viruses are spread by hand to hand contact or contact with a contaminated object. The virus is then transferred to your body when you touch your eyes, mouth, or nose. Similar to other viruses, cold viruses are spread through tiny droplets released into the air when a sick person sneezes or coughs.
Although healthy children and adults get a cold 2-3 times a year, there are certain factors that increase the risk of catching a cold.
Those at an increased risk of catching a common cold are:
- young children
- immune compromised patients
- those exposed to large amount of potentially sick people, like doctors, nurses, teachers, retail works, etc.
Tips for avoiding the common cold
Don’t share common items like drinking glasses, utensils, toothbrushes, etc. Always make sure to keep your items separate from others to avoid contamination.
Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and use antibacterial hand lotion at all times. Make sure you throughly wash both sides of your hands to eliminate any potential contaminants.
Use disinfectant on household surfaces and items regularly, especially when someone in your house has an active cold. Always disinfect kids toys, backpacks, and other items that come and go from the home.
Make sure to always cover your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze. This simple act of covering your mouth can help reduce infecting others around you.