Related articles: Cold
A cold is an acute viral infection, which causes symptoms in the upper airways.
The most commonly responsible virus is called rhinovirus and there are over 100 known serotypes. However, even infections caused by coronavirus, enterovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, metapneumovirus, influenza and parainfluenza viruses can cause a cold. These viral agents are easily transmitted through direct interhuman contact or by infected airborne droplets (aerosols).
Most common symptoms and signs *
- Lowering of the voice
- Burning eyes
- Muscle pains
- Dry throat
- Sore throat
- Closed nose
- Throat Plates
- Itching of the nose
- Throat itch
- Blood in Saliva
- Nasal voice
After an incubation of 24-72 hours, the symptoms begin with a feeling of scraping in the throat (pharyngeal irritation) and itching of the nose, followed by sneezing, rhinorrhea, mild cough, nasal obstruction and feeling of fatigue.
The cold is not usually feverish and, unlike influenza, does not cause muscle pain. Nasal secretions are watery and abundant in the first days; later, they become mucus purulent. The cold is self-limiting and most symptoms resolve within 10 days. Significant symptoms affecting the lower airways are rare, although colds can lead to other complications such as otitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis and, sometimes, bronchitis.
The diagnosis is clinical and does not require confirmation tests. The treatment is symptomatic and may include, for example, analgesics to reduce sore throats and nasal decongestants to clear the stuffy nose.