Common Cold

The common cold is the most frequent infection across the United States.
The cold part isn’t so accurate. People used to think a cold came from being out
in the cold, or being cold. Now we know what really causes it.
What does happen is that you catch a virus from another person. This
often happens by touching a infected surface and then touching openings in your
body, such as your eyes, nose, or mouth. You can also catch a cold by running
into particles sneezed into the air.
While getting a chill does not cause a cold, there are factors that make a
person more susceptible to getting a cold virus. These include excessive fatigue,
emotional distress, allergies involving nose and throat symptoms, and the middle
There are some 200 viruses that can cause a cold. A cold begins when a
cold virus attaches to the inside of your nose or throat. Your immune system
then sends white blood cells out to attack it. Unless you’ve had it before, the
attack fails and your body sends in reinforcements. Your nose and throat get
irritated and produce lots of mucus. With so much of your energy directed to
fighting the virus, you feel tired and miserable.
One to three days after catching a cold virus, symptoms begin suddenly.
They start with a burning feeling in the nose or throat. Next comes sneezing, a
runny nose, and the feeling of being tired and unwell. For thefirst few days,
your nose runs with really watery mucus. Later, this becomes thicker and darker.
You may get a mild cough. It won’t get much worse, but it is likely to last into
the second week of your illness. Usually there is no fever — in fact, fever and
more severe symptoms may indicate that you have the flu and not a cold.
Cold symptoms settle in between one and four days after you are infected
by a cold virus and usually last for about three days. At that point the worst is

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