What is the Common Cold?
The common cold is a viral infection caused by viruses called rhinoviruses. The most common type of virus causing the common cold are Rhinovirus types 1 and 2 (commonly known as “the three R’s”). These viruses cause approximately 70% of all cases of the common cold.
Common cold symptoms include:
Headache or a runny nose. A cough or sore throat. Sore Throat (throat congestion). Runny Nose (sneezing) Redness of the eyes (conjunctivitis) Painful Chest Pressure (chills), Tachycardia, Swelling of the Hands/Feet, Chills, Pains in extremities. Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Constipation.
How Common is the Common Cold?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there were over 3 million new cases of the common cold diagnosed in 2011. Of these cases, nearly half occurred among children under age 5 years old. About one third of all adults will get a case of the common cold during their lifetime.
Children are more likely to get the common cold, because they tend to put their hands in their mouths more often, and they have more contact with other children.
Adults are more likely to get a case of the common cold during the winter months. The average age for most people to first experience a common cold is under 2 years old, and the average age for death from a common cold is just over 70 years old.
How Soon Do You Get Better?
- The common cold (T Heikkinen, A Järvinen – The Lancet, 2003 – Elsevier)
- The common cold (B Lorber – Journal of general internal medicine, 1996 – Springer)
- Prevention and treatment of the common cold: making sense of the evidence (GM Allan, B Arroll – Cmaj, 2014 – Can Med Assoc)
- The common cold (GL Kirkpatrick – Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice, 1996 – Elsevier)