In the wake of the worldwide Covid- 19 pandemic, it is very important to stay healthy and one can do so by becoming aware of the nature of the related diseases and by building up strong immunity. Common cold, much similar to diseases like flu or influenza, and the disease caused by Coronavirus, and it is particularly a common occurrence during season changes, particularly in winter. This is a kind of infection that affects the upper respiratory tract and portions of the lungs that leads to symptoms like severe coughing, sneezing, running nose, fever, and many other conditions. The common cold is primarily caused by a variety of species of bacteria, viruses, and other types of parasites in the body.
During the time of the Covid- 19 or Coronavirus pandemic all over the world, people can easily misunderstand the symptoms of the common cold or flu as the symptoms of Covid. So, one must surely build concern about their health care techniques during the season of common cold and Covid.
Apart from these, there are several other causes that are responsible for the occurrences of the common cold. Once you notice the symptoms of common cold or influenza, you should take necessary precautions and see a registered medical practitioner as soon as possible.
All that you need to know about Common Cold:
The common cold is an infectious and highly contagious disease that spreads through the sneeze, cough, and swab particles of the infected person. When someone touches the things that are used by the infected person, like his or her clothes, towels, and so on, or comes in close contact with the infected individual, then that person becomes very much susceptible to the common cold infection. There are several types of microbes, mainly viruses, that are responsible for the development of infections of the common cold in a person’s body. Some of them are as follows:
- Human rhino virus
- Corona virus or Covid- 19 causing virus
- Para- influenza virus
Symptoms Of Common Cold:
According to experts, there are some symptoms that generally indicate the occurrence of a common cold. Some such symptoms are listed below:
- Soreness of throat and irritation
- Repetitive sneezing
- Running nose with a suffocating stuffiness
- Dry and congestion cough
- Body aches, headache, and muscle pain
- Low to high fever (around 100 to 102°F)
- Feeling unwell and sense of fatigue
- Loss of smell and taste (occasionally, mostly in cases of infections caused by Corona virus)
- Watery eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Mucus starts coming out from the nose and enters your throat
Causes Of Common Cold:
Experts say that viruses are the primary cause for developing common colds in both children and adults. That are several types of infections and highly contagious viruses that can cause a common cold, but among them, rhinoviruses and adenoviruses are the most crucial causes of developing the common cold.
As common cold occurs, the virus is responsible for creating the disease that enters into your body in a number of ways- either through the sneeze or mouth particles containing the virus that comes from the body of the infected person.
According to experts, the cause of the spreading of viruses that leads to a common cold in your body is the contact of a healthy individual with an infected person. The virus tries to enter your body through your mouth, eyes, and nose. Contamination can also occur by touching the objects that have been used by an infected person.
There are some harmful and typically infectious viruses, for example, the Covid- !9 Coronavirus that can potentially spread through droplets of the air or even through human breath when the infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks in front of you.
The other ways the virus can spread are-
- By hand-to-hand contact with an infected person
- Sharing objects contaminated by the virus
- Using the objects previously used by the infected person, for example his or her utensils, phones, bed sheets, napkins, or any other objects of common use.
- You will surely catch the viral infection which can lead to the development of viral infections and common cold in your body if you touch your mouth, eyes, or nose after touching the contaminated objects used by the infected person before.
The major types of viruses that cause conditions of common cold among children and adults can be discussed as follows:
Human rhinovirus is a unique group of viruses that can be available in more than 100 mutated species, and it is considered the most usual cause behind the development of infections resulting from common colds and influenza.
Recent experiments and studies have revealed that the virus is highly infectious and contagious in nature. This virus goes on mutating and manipulating its genes constantly and thus causes symptoms of common cold and troubles your overall respiratory health, causing problems like coughing, fever, sneezing, fatigue, running nose, and many others. As opined by experts, the human rhinovirus is one of the major causes of common colds that are most commonly found as a significant microbe, causing common cold infections. Once infected, the human rhinoviruses grow and multiply rapidly, mostly within the surface of the human nose. But doctors say that the human rhinovirus (HRV) does not pose any serious threat to your health if treated on time.
Human para- influenza virus (HPIV), adenovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus:
These are the three other types of viruses that are responsible for causing mild infections of the common cold among adults, particularly among aged individuals and premature babies. These viruses typically cause damage to the lungs and the lower respiratory tract and further weaken their immune systems.
Premature babies, children with asthma, and those with lung or heart conditions are at greater risk for developing complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
When these viruses, particularly the species HPIV and HPIV-1 cause common cold infections among children, then the infection becomes severe enough that causes a loud, hammering sound during coughing, a condition known as ‘croup’.
This virus develops in crowded areas and directly affects the lungs and the respiratory system. Studies are suggesting that those who are prone to these types of common cold infections must avoid crowded areas.
Corona virus or Covid-19:
Considered as one of the major threats to humanity and the 21st century the Covid- 19 or Coronavirus is much more than just a common cold virus, but when infects a person, the symptoms seem much like the common cold, for example, a Covid- 19 positive individual shows symptoms of sneezing, profuse coughing, high fever, running nose, accompanied by loss of smell and taste. There are many varieties of the Coronavirus, and it severely affects the acute respiratory tract.
Complications after Common- cold infections:
After getting infected with the common cold virus, one may develop complications if he or she has a weak immune system or a weak lung. Such complications are listed below:
Infection in the earlobes: Common cold complications can cause a yellow fluid coming out from the nose and can cause pain in the ears.
Sinusitis: Common cold can often lead to inflammation and further infections of the sinuses and related nerves.
Asthma: Common cold causes acute breathing problems, accompanied by coughing and shortness of breath that develops into asthma.
Pneumonia and Bronchitis: If common cold infections cause further complications in your body, then it will generally affect your lungs and bronchioles, causing chest infections, pneumonia, and bronchitis characterized by hammering cough, acute breathlessness, running nose, and coming out of mucus through a cough.
Risk factors enhancing common cold infections:
The possible risk factors that may further increase the chances of developing acute infections from a common cold are as follows:
- Season changes: Common coldinfections occur mostly during the season changes, particularly during the fall of winter, at the end of winter and going to summer, and the rainy season. Try to avoid catching a cold during winter and do not get wet during monsoon to avoid viral infections.
- Age: Infants, especially children below 6 years of age and older adults are more susceptible to developing infections of common cold.So, it is important to take care that people of these age groups do not catch infections.
- Environment. Viruses tend to grow and multiply in environments that are filthy. Take good care to ensure that the environment you live in is clean and tidy that can keep away the common cold viruses
- Weak immune system: When you have a weak immune system, you are at a higher risk of developing viral infections like common cold.
- Smoking: Smoking, apart from damaging your lungs and respiratory tract, increases the risk of catching viral infections that causea common cold.
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