It is the most widespread and common of all diseases – the common cold. Although many consider colds to be of minor harm, colds are a major cause of absences either from school or work. Each year in the United States, cases of colds cost billions of dollars in lost labor hours.
Common-cold results from any kind of viral infections of the upper respiratory tract. It varies in severity ranging from mild without fever to prolonged, fatal pneumonia. Researchers have successfully identified over 100 viruses that cause colds. One of their findings show that the reason why people have many colds is that various viruses can cause similar illnesses. Another is that one cold virus doesn’t give immunity over others. They also found out that the most susceptible are children and adults living with children. The reason why about 100 Americans acquire the illness.
A person with a cold usually has a stuffy nose and may have difficulty in breathing. This is because of viruses infecting the mucus membrane of the throat, nose, air passages and lungs. It could also spread to the eyes, sinuses, and ears. Once the virus spread over the air passages and lungs, it can cause bronchitis and pneumonia.
The simplest form of cold lasts for a few days. Severe colds, on the ether hand, last longer, and oftentimes causes fever, and pain throughout the body. On some cases, patients have chills and loss of appetite.
Colds can be dangerous since it makes people more susceptible to bacteria and infections. It is especially hazardous to the elderly and to those who have other lung diseases.
Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for colds. But prescribed drugs can relieve the pain it gives and lessen muscular aches. Nasal drops and sprays help minimize mucous membranes and may loosen air passage for better breathing. Vaporizers may also give relief. A patient with colds accompanied with fever should have plenty of rest and be isolated from others especially children.
People with colds should eat nourishing foods and drink plenty of fluids, such as fruit juices, water, or tea. If symptoms persist or gets worse, a physician should be called. If complications start to develop, the doctor can treat it early. Antibiotics are often given to control the bacterial complications.
Proliferation & Prevention
Experts could not identify all the ways in which cold germs spread. But physicians believe that a person can get a cold if through breathing it. Tiny droplets containing viruses from a person who has cold spray out into the air. Other persons nearby can catch the germs by breathing it. That is why, a person should always close or cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Also, germs can be spread through hand contact. So, always wash your hands especially every after blowing your nose.
One way to prevent colds from spreading is by isolating the infected ones. Although scientists have developed several vaccines for cold viruses, such as influenza virus, none has been proven effective against all other types of colds. However, the human body has it’s own mechanism to fight off viruses. The body produces chemical substances called interferon that help fight colds. Thus, it is better to strengthen the immune system to proven from acquiring common colds.