In the following article I discussed the topic of colds, its symptoms, treatment and prevention. If you have this problem, it is worth consulting your doctor or using an online medical consultation, during which the doctor will recommend how to behave in this situation.
The most common cause of colds are viruses (most often the so-called rhinovirus: 30-50% of cases).
The infection is transmitted mainly by droplets (splashing in the air of saliva and secretions from the nasal cavity, which stick to tiny droplets of mucus (20-300 micrometers in diameter) and are sprayed into the surrounding air when coughing, sneezing and talking. the respiratory tract, which becomes the so-called gate of infection), but also through direct contact and through the ingestion (depending on the type of virus). Hence, it is so important to care for hand hygiene! not only in times of epidemics!
The onset of the disease is usually mild, usually the following symptoms are present (not all of these symptoms are always present!):
- Feeling unwell, headache and muscle pain, sore or scratchy throat
- Chills and fever (generally up to 38 degrees C), but often – without fever
- Rhinitis – initially a run-off of watery secretion, often flowing down the back of the throat, grunting, then a stuffy feeling and nasal obstruction, impaired smell, sneezing; later, the discharge may be thick, greenish or even purulent (however, this is not evidence of a bacterial infection and does not imply the need to use an antibiotic!)
- Pharyngitis – pain, redness, swelling, inflammatory lumps on the back of the throat, sometimes lumps or vesicles on the palatine arches, discharge on the back of the throat. (it is good for the Patient to check his throat before the teleconsultation, so that he can answer the doctor’s questions about the appearance of the throat; and even better, if the Patient attaches a photo of the throat in the form of a file – to the consultation on a cold).
- Cough – initially dry with a tendency to become moist
- Sometimes conjunctivitis, skin rash
A cold disease is self-limiting. Nevertheless, the common cold disease should be differentiated, e.g. with flu, bacterial infections and other potential causes of the patient’s ailments. Symptomatic treatment is usually sufficient.
The maximum severity of cold symptoms occurs after 2-3 days, then the disease disappears or the symptoms disappear within 7-10 days. In 25% of patients, the cough lasts for 2-3 weeks (sometimes even longer).
Prepared on the basis of the textbook by Interna E. Szczeklik.