Common cold

  • Common viral infection that affects the upper chest, nose and throat
  • Symptoms may include congestion, runny nose, cough and sore throat
  • Commonly spread by breathing in infected droplets from the air, contact with infected person or contaminated objects
  • Affects males and females but more common in areas with crowded conditions
  • Can occur at any age but more often in children
  • May be mild to severe

GENERAL THERAPY

  • Appears 3 days after exposure, and you are contagious
  • Treat the symptoms
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Gargle with warm saltwater, several times a day
  • Drink warm lemon water with honey for sore throat
  • Over-the-counter medicine (refer to manufacturer’s recommendations for dosage):
    • Acetaminophen
    • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Decongestants
    • Cough syrups
    • Saline nasal drops for congestion
    • Echinacea as soon as symptoms appear
    • Vitamin C
    • Zinc nasal spray or lozenges as soon as symptoms appear

 

PRECAUTIONS AND AVOIDANCES

  • Avoid anyone with a cold
  • Wash hands often
  • Keep kitchen and bathroom countertops clean
  • Wash children’s toys after playing
  • Cough or sneeze into tissues, discard immediately
  • Teach children to sneeze into bend of elbow if they do not have a tissue
  • Do not share drinking glasses or utensils

 

SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IF

  • Cold symptoms do not improve after a week
  • You have a persistent fever, chills or cough with yellow/green colored phlegm
  • You have a very sore throat or trouble swallowing
  • Significantly swollen glands
  • Cough that does not go away
  • Congestion or headache that persist, pain around eyes, and face

 

In Adults:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Persistent vomiting

 

In Children:

  • Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids (especially water)
  • Unusual sleepiness
  • Severe headache
  • Extreme irritability
  • Fever with rash
  • Ear pain
  • Vomiting or abdominal pain
  • Persistent cough

Schedule an Appointment

If you are not feeling well or are uncertain about a healthcare condition, see a doctor. It could save your life.

More Conditions

Schedule an Appointment

If you are not feeling well or are uncertain about a healthcare condition, see a doctor. It could save your life.

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