Common cold is often known as acute viral nasopharyngitis. It is a mild viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory system like nose and throat. Over 200 viruses can cause a cold. The common cold is more common in cold weather than in summer but there are still plenty of colds around in summer particularly when we go on holiday. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 million school days are lost annually in the United States due to the common cold.
One important reason why colds are so common in children is because they are often in close contact with each other in daycare centers and schools.
The three most frequent symptoms of a cold are nasal stuffiness, sneezing, and runny nose. Throat irritation is often involved (but not with a red throat). Adults and older children with colds generally have minimal or no fever.
Causes of Common Cold
More than 200 different viruses are known to cause the symptoms of the common cold. Some, such as the rhinoviruses, seldom produce serious illnesses. Others, such as parainfluenza and respiratory syncytial virus, produce mild infections in adults but can precipitate severe lower respiratory infections in young children.
The viruses must get into the nose where they can infect the nasal membranes. The virus must attach to nasal cells after which the viruses can multiply. Inhaling contaminated droplets produced when someone else coughs or sneezes may be one way to catch a cold.
Air that’s dry can lower your child’s resistance to infection by the viruses that cause colds. And so can being a smoker or being around someone who’s smoking. People who smoke are more likely to catch a cold than people who don’t smoke.
Home Remedies for Common Cold
*Garlic, as well as onion, is sometimes taken for the relief of congestion and minor infections. They are good in helping reduce the amount of mucous in the nasal cavities too. Garlic is also said to aid in the cleansing of the body’s blood. And, true or not, it has been said that if you cut several onions in half and place them around your home, you and your family will not get any more colds.
* Balanced diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, low saturated fats and whole cereals which will protect you from the common cold and cough. Vitamin C rich foods if taken adequately will also protect from cold. Vitamin C is found abundant in fruits like goose berry, cashew fruit, lime, orange, guava, mosambi, and sprouted pulses.
* Drink six to eight glasses of water, juice, tea, and other mostly clear liquids daily. This will replace important fluids lost during a cold and help flush out impurities that may be preying on your system.