Common cold
Common cold

Common Cold: Causes, 4 Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Common cold is a mild viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, namely the nose and throat. Viral infections that cause a cold cough can spread directly through a splash of mucus from the patient’s respiratory tract, or indirectly through the hands. Cold cough can be experienced by anyone, ranging from children to older persons.

The incubation period of the virus causes a cold cough, or the period from which the virus enters the body to cause complaints is generally 2-3 days. Sufferers will also experience severe and very disturbing symptoms of cold cough after 2-3 days of symptoms. For more details, see the schema below.


Virus in/out→Incubation (2-3 days) → Symptoms appear → Peak severity of symptoms (2-3 days) → Symptoms gradually recover until fully cured (time varies)


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Stages of a cold in humans

Common cold and flu are two different diseases, but are often considered the same due to the similarity of symptoms. The difference between the two is the virus that causes it as well as the accompanying symptoms.

Common Cold Cause

More than 200 viruses can cause common cold and infections to spread from person to person through the air and close contact. Antibiotics can’t work against viruses and won’t help you to feel better. Rhinovirus is the virus that causes common most often.

When you have a common cold, mucus will fill your nose, and cause colds, nasal congestion and mucus to the throat (post nasal drip) which can cause sore throats and coughs.

Common Cold Risk Factors

Many things can increase the risk of developing a common cold, including:

  • Exposure to a person with common cold.
  • Age (infants and young children at high risk for experiencing common cold)
  • Low immunity or using drugs that reduce immunity
  • Season (autumn and winter).

Common Cold Symptoms

Symptoms of this infection are generally seen about 1-3 days after exposure from a cough containing the virus. Signs and symptoms of the common cold include:

  • Runny nose and clogged
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Mild headache
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Slight fever or no fever (older persons: < 390C; children: < 380C)
  • Feeling a little tired.

Is it necessary to use antibiotics to treat Common Cold disease?

Nonspecific upper respiratory tract infections (common cold) are caused by viruses, hence the use of antibiotics is not necessary.

Treatment with antibiotics in both child and older patients with the infection does not accelerate the healing of the disease and does not reduce the severity of the disease, so it is not recommended.

On the other hand the use of antibiotics provides a risk of side effects in the gastrointestinal tract, increases the cost of treatment, and increases bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Diagnosis of the disease can be ascertained only through question and answer to complaints and physical examinations. The goal is to ensure that the disease is indeed a cold cough and not another disease.

One disease with similar complaints is strep throat, but in contrast to common cold the disease is caused by bacteria that require antibiotics.

Common cold diagnosis

Diagnosis of the disease can be ascertained only through question and answer to complaints and physical examinations. The goal is to ensure that the disease is indeed a cold cough and not another disease.

One disease with similar complaints is strep throat, but in contrast to common cold the disease is caused by bacteria that require antibiotics.

Common cold treatment

Because it is caused by a virus, there is no specific treatment in the treatment of common cold. To help relieve symptoms, a common cold sufferer can do the following:

  • Enough rest
  • Lots of drinking water
  • Gargling with saline solution
  • Heat-lowering drugs when fever is quite annoying
  • Nasal sprays containing saline or decongestant solutions to relieve blockages.

Common Cold Prevention

To prevent common cold, one must maintain the cleanliness of themselves and surrounding objects by:

  • Get used to washing your hands using soap well and properly. This habit of hand washing should be done regularly, especially after shaking hands with people with common colds, before touching the nose and mouth, and before preparing food.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Cleaning objects used together such as phone handles, door knobs, water taps, and so on.
  • Use personal cutlery, which is separate from others.

Read also:
How to prevent cold and flu naturally

Common Cold: Causes, 4 Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Post in | Last updated: August 30th, 2020 | 14 views