The common cold is also known as nasopharyngitis is basically a viral disease. It usually affects the upper respiratory tract, which in turn affects the nose. It is basically one of the most common conditions globally and it is certain that at a particular point in time in everyone’s life, we have all once caught the common cold. It is, however a condition that can only be managed until it subsides, since being a virus, it has no cure. It has also been ranked as one of the most frequent of infectious diseases of humanity and the bad news is that if left unchecked it may on some occasions lead to pneumonia.
The common cold is in most cases transmitted through the air i.e. it is airborne or may also be transmitted when one gets into contact with the nasal secretions of an infected person. This is the reason why in most cases the common cold is common in day care centers due to the close proximity that the children are placed and the fact that they do actually engage in games that include a lot of physical contact thereby making it easy for the virus to spread.
It has also been observed that the disease tends to affect more people during the cold seasons, even though there are no substantial studies that have been carried out in order to relate the cold weather to the prevalence of the common cold.
The common cold itself lasts for a duration of about a week before subsiding. It is therefore important for one to take preventive measures such as ensuring regular hand washing during and after interacting with people. One is also encouraged to use a handkerchief when blowing their nose and also ensure that it is kept clean or switched for a clean one regularly. In places whereby there is a lot of congestion or one is operating in a high risk area, it is highly recommended that the use of a face mask be employed. These measures will go a long way in reducing the spread of the cold and minimize the rate of infections.
Signs and symptoms
It is important to however, note that the symptoms of the common cold resemble those of the flu in many aspects and as such whereby one is not certain he or she is advised to consult a doctor. Some of the symptoms range from experiencing fatigue to occasional muscle aches, loss of appetite in some individuals, headaches, nasal congestion accompanied by a running nose and sore throat with coughs. It is important to manage these symptoms and seek medical help if they persist.
Even though there has been no breakthrough in finding the cure for the common cold, there are some remedies that help alleviate the symptoms. A simple rest goes a long way, one should drink plenty of fluids, one should also gargle warm salt water, analgesics can also be used, zinc lozenges and honey also help.