Common cold

Common cold is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract that primarily affects the nose. It’s usually harmless. Most people recover from a common cold in a week or 10 days. Symptoms might last longer in people who are suffering from other health problems.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms may appear less than two days after exposure to the virus. These can vary from person to person, might include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Slight body aches
  • Sneezing
  • Low-grade fever
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Generally feeling unwell
  • Sinus pressure
  • Watery eyes
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes

When to See a Doctor

People usually recover in seven to ten days. Seek medical attention if you have:

  • Fever greater than 101.3 F (38.5 C)
  • Fever lasting five days or more or returning after a fever-free period
  • Symptoms that worsen or fail to improve
  • Severe symptoms, such as headache or cough
  • Wheezing
  • Ear pain
  • Unusual drowsiness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe sore throat,
  • Headache
  • Sinus pain


There’s no vaccine for the common cold, but you can take commonsense precautions to slow the spread of cold viruses:


  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water, and teach your children the importance of hand-washing. Wash children’s toys periodically.
  • Clean kitchen and bathroom countertops with disinfectant, especially when someone in your family has a cold. Sneeze and cough into tissues.
  • Don’t share drinking glasses or utensils with other family members.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold.
  • Look for a child care setting with good hygiene practices and clear policies about keeping sick children at home.
  • Eating well, getting exercise and enough sleep, and managing stress might help you keep colds at bay.

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