The Cold, Cough & Flu

Are you in Macon, GA and have a cough or congestion? Head on over to Med Plus Immediate Care for quick care. Check in now or walk-in for your appointment.

Overview

Headaches, runny nose, scratchy throat – do these symptoms sound familiar? If you answered yes, you may have a common cold. Let’s discuss it.

Cold symptoms include a sore throat, runny nose, coughing, and sneezing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most people return to normal within 7-10 days. Simply washing your hands frequently, avoiding close contact with sick people, and refraining from touching your face with dirty fingers are all recommended methods for reducing your chances of getting a cold.

The common cold, an infection of the nose and throat that affects many people, is caused by a viral infection. Even if it doesn’t appear to be, it is almost always completely harmless in the long run. It is most common for these colds to strike during the “cold season,” which lasts from September to April due to the cooler weather and the fact that children are in school and therefore in close contact with a variety of germs

Most of the time, a common cold does not require seeking medical attention. On the other hand, if your symptoms worsen, you should seek medical attention.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a common cold usually appear one to three days after being exposed to the virus that causes it. These are the examples of signs and symptoms which varies from person to person:

Runny or stuffy nose, or both. Colds, allergies, sinus infections, and the flu are all known to cause a runny or stuffy nose. When there are excessive mucus secretions, the nose becomes runny.

A scratchy throat. Inflammation of the throat that worsens when swallowed is characterized by pain, scratchiness, or irritation in the throat.

Cough. Coughing usually happens when something irritates your throat or airways, and it is your body’s natural response.

Congestion. Itching or suffocation in the nasal or respiratory passageways.

A mild headache may occur. Aching, squeezing, or band-like head pain on both sides of the head, generally above the level of the brows, is one of the symptoms of this condition.

Sneezing. Sneezing occurs because of irritation of the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. It can be inconvenient, but it is rarely a symptom of something more serious requiring medical attention.

A good time to see a doctor:

For Adults. Most of the time, a common cold does not usually require medical attention. However, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention:

  • Sore throat, headache, or severe sinus pain are all possible symptoms.
  • Difficulties with breathing
  • When there has been no fever for a period, the fever will return.
  • Fever of more than three days, with a temperature of more than 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit (38.5 °C).
  • Symptoms that don’t get better.

For Children. A common cold may not require the need for your child to see a doctor. However, if your child shows any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately:

  • A decrease in appetite
  • Unusual drowsiness
  • A lot of fuss
  • Ear experience pain
  • Breathing difficulties
  • A severe sore throat, headache, or sinus pain
  • In a child of any age who has a rising fever or a fever that lasts longer than two days
  • Fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 °C) in newborns up to 12 weeks of age

Causes

While several different viruses can cause a common cold, rhinoviruses are the most common.

The virus that causes a cold enters your body through your mouth, eyes, or nose. Viruses circulate through droplets in the air when a sick person coughs, sneezes, or speaks, and the virus can spread through the air.

Moreover, it can also infect by sharing contaminated objects with someone who has a cold, such as kitchen utensils, different towels, or telephones. Touching your eyes, mouth, or nose after being contaminated with a cold virus increase your chances of getting sick.

Prevention

  • Please wash your hands. Hands should be washed thoroughly and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to disinfect your hands. Instill the importance of handwashing in your children’s minds. Do not use unwashed hands to meet your eyes, nose, or mouth unless necessary.
  • Disinfect your items. Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, electronics, and kitchen and bathroom countertops must be done at least once per day to prevent the spread of germs. This is especially important if someone in your family is suffering from a cold. Toys for children should be thoroughly cleaned regularly.
  • Cover your cough with your hand. Coughing and sneezing into tissues are recommended. Remove used tissues from the environment as soon as possible, and thoroughly wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue handy, sneeze or cough into the bend of your elbow, then wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Don’t share. When you or someone else is having a cold, you should drink from your glass or disposable cups instead. 
  • Keep your distance from anyone who has a cold. If you have a cold, avoid contact with anyone else who is sick. Maintain space between your hands and your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Make sure you look after yourself. A healthy eating diet, regular exercise, and enough sleep are all beneficial to your general well-being and well-being.