The common cold comprises many phases, during which its symptoms and duration may appear suddenly or unexpectedly. Let’s go over the different stages of the common cold and answer any concerns you might have about them, such as how long you stay contagious. Treatment for the common may vary depending on your symptoms, so it is best to visit one as soon as possible.
The common cold is caused by a virus that attacks the upper respiratory tract, such as the nose, sinuses, voice box, and throat. Although the rhinovirus is the most common form of the common cold in adults, there are more than 200 viruses that can cause a cold.
Colds can be transmitted to you by breathing in a virus that an infected person coughed or sneezed into the air, or by being in direct intimate contact with an infected person. They can also be transmitted by shaking hands with an infected person or touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Colds are more prevalent in the autumn and winter. However, you can get sick with the cold any time of year. Adults get 2-3 colds on average every year, and children get even more.
What Causes the Common Cold?
Cold symptoms can be caused by a variety of viruses, the majority of which are rhinoviruses. The immune system tries to fight off viruses when they enter the body, and symptoms may not appear in people with a strong immune system.
While various viruses can result in the common cold, rhinoviruses are the most common form of the virus. Some people are resistant to colds, whereas others are less resistant. The virus can spread through airborne droplets when a sick person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.
Colds can also be passed from person to person or by exchanging infected things such as dining utensils, towels, toys, or cell phones. You are more likely to catch a cold if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth after coming into contact with an infected surface. Thus, the answer to what causes the common cold may vary from case to case.
Common Cold Symptoms
Common cold symptoms normally occur between 1-12 hours after being exposed to a cold-causing virus. Common cold signs and symptoms may differ from person to person and include:
- Feeling generally ill
- Sore throat
- Mild body discomfort or a headache
- A stuffy nose
- Frequent cough
- Low fever
As a normal cold progresses, the discharge from your nose may thicken and turn yellow or green. This is a sign that your body is actively fighting the infection.
How long does the common cold last? It actually depends. Most individuals recover from a normal cold within a week or ten days, while smokers may experience symptoms a bit longer. In general, a common cold does not necessitate medical care, but you can consult your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or worsen.
Is The Common Cold Contagious?
The common cold is certainly contagious. You can infect others with the common cold a few days before your symptoms appear, and you may also be infectious for the duration you experience your symptoms. In fact, you are most likely to transfer the virus during the first 2 to 3 days, when symptoms are at their highest.
If you feel like you might spread the common cold, stay home from work or school – especially if you are feeling unwell. Also, wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. These steps can assist in keeping the infection from spreading.
How to Avoid the Common Cold
You can avoid catching a cold by taking some simple measures. For example, you can wash your hands on a regular basis for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. In the absence of soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Unwashed hands should not be used to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
You can also disinfect your belongings. High-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, electronics, and kitchen and bathroom worktops should all be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis. This is especially critical if you or a member of your household has a cold.
Common Cold vs Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an important micronutrient. It plays an active role in maintaining the immune system by supporting multiple cellular functions of your body's adaptive immune systems. If your immune system is weakened, it is easy to catch a common cold, especially in winter. While vitamin C may not prevent the cold, it slows down the production and oxidation of free radicals, which helps maintain a healthy immune system. This means that a vitamin C deficiency can decrease your immunity because of its negative effects on metabolism.
Are you curious about your vitamin C levels? Get real-time data on your body’s wellness through your vitamin C levels and 8 other wellness parameters like magnesium, calcium, and ketones through Vivoo’s at-home urine test. You just urinate on the strip and scan to the app. The Vivoo App will give you your results in just 90 seconds. You can also get personalized nutritional and lifestyle advice based on your results so you can improve your wellness. Check out your vitamin C with levels with Vivoo this winter!