India has been battling spike in extreme weather events from heavy rainfall leading to floods to summers causing heatwaves. In September and October this year, the country recorded the highest number of cases of extreme weather events during the last five years due to the late withdrawal of the southwest monsoon and higher-than-normal low-pressure systems. And, now a new forecast indicates a much colder winter ahead.
A weather phenomenon that typically delivers harsher winters is on the way and expected to add to Asia’s energy crisis. And, north India may witness the chilliest/ extremely cold winter due to the La Nina that has been emerging in the Pacific Ocean.
Because of the extremely cold winter most of the disease or variants arrived easily and now a days cold and other variants are still stay in India. If you want to stay away and takes some precautions to prevent cold and other variants so you have to know about the disease.
What is cold?
The common cold is a viral infection of your nose and throat (upper respiratory tract). It’s usually harmless, although it might not feel that way. Many types of viruses can cause a common cold. The common cold, also known simply as a cold, is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract that primarily affects the respiratory mucosa of the nose, throat, sinuses, and larynx.
The name “cold” came into use in the 16th century, due to the similarity between its symptoms and those of exposure to cold weather. In the United Kingdom, the Common Cold Unit (CCU) was set up by the Medical Research Council in 1946 and it was where the rhinovirus was discovered in 1956.
A common cold, also known as a viral cold, is an upper respiratory infection that is caused by a virus. You might be appalled to know that over 200 different viruses can cause the common cold. In fact, about 50 per cent of common cold is caused by rhinoviruses. When the virus overpowers the immune system and enters the body, it causes an infection. It attacks the mucous membrane that is the first line of defense. When this virus enters the cell, it takes control of the cell’s machinery and manufactures more viruses. This is how you fall prey to a full-fledged viral attack.
Other Name of cold:
Cold, acute viral nasopharyngitis, nasopharyngitis, viral rhinitis, rhinopharyngitis, acute coryza, head cold, upper respiratory tract infection (URTI).
Well over 200 virus strains are implicated in causing the common cold, with rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, adenoviruses and enteroviruses being the most common. They spread through the air during close contact with infected people or indirectly through contact with objects in the environment, followed by transfer to the mouth or nose. Risk factors include going to child care facilities, not sleeping well, and psychological stress.
The common cold is the most frequent infectious disease in humans. Under normal circumstances, the average adult gets two to three colds a year, while the average child may get six to eight. Infections occur more commonly during the winter, spring and autumn due to the colder weather. These infections have existed throughout human history.
The common cold is a mild upper respiratory infection caused by viruses. Common colds are the most frequent acute illness in the U.S. and the industrialized world, and occur more frequently in winter and spring, but they can occur any time of year.
- Very common; more than 10 million cases per year (India)
- Spreads easily
- Usually, self-treatable
- Usually, self-diagnosable
- Lab tests or imaging not required
- Short-term: resolves within days to weeks
Risk factors for catching a cold:
- Close contact with someone who has a cold
- Season: certain viruses are more common during certain times of year
- Age: infants and young children have more colds each year than adults
How Is a Cold Diagnosed?
The common cold is diagnosed based upon a history of the patient’s reported symptoms and a physical examination.
Testing is not usually needed to diagnose a common cold.
Tests may be used to rule out other infections that cause similar symptoms to the common cold
Nasal swab testing for coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) or rapid molecular assays for the flu (influenza)
Chest X-rays for lower respiratory tract infection
Causes of the Common Cold
Many different respiratory viruses can cause the common cold, but rhinoviruses are the most common. Rhinoviruses can also trigger asthma attacks and have been linked to sinus and ear infections. Other viruses that can cause coldsincluderespiratory syncytial virus, human parainfluenza viruses, adenovirus, common human coronaviruses, and human metapneumovirus
Symptoms of cold:
- Blocked nose
- Muscle stiffness
- Breathing difficulties
- Body aches
- Low-grade fever
- Post-nasal drip
- Watery eyes
- Sore throat
- Stuffy nose or
- nasal congestion
How to protect children from cold
Viruses that cause colds can spread from infected people to others through the air and close personal contact. You can also get infected through contact with stool (poop) or respiratory secretions from an infected person. This can happen when you shake hands with someone who has a cold, or touch a surface, like a doorknob, that has respiratory viruses on it, then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose.
You can help reduce your risk of getting a cold:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Wash them for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Viruses that cause colds can live on your hands, and regular handwashing can help protect you from getting sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Viruses that cause colds can enter your body this way and make you sick.
- Stay away from people who are sick. Sick people can spread viruses that cause the common cold through close contact with others.
You should call your doctor if you or your child has one or more of these conditions:
symptoms that last more than 10 days symptoms that are severe or unusual if your child is younger than 3 months of age and has a fever or is lethargic. You should also call your doctor right away if you are at high risk for serious flu complications and get flu symptoms such as fever, chills, and muscle or body aches. People at high risk for flu complications include young children (younger than 5 years old), adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. Your doctor can determine if you or your child has a cold or the flu and can recommend treatment to help with symptoms
How to Protect Others
If you have a cold, you should follow these tips to help prevent spreading it to other people:
- Stay at home while you are sick and keep children out of school or daycare while they are sick.
- Avoid close contact with others, such as hugging, kissing, or shaking hands.
- Move away from people before coughing or sneezing.
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue then throw it away, or cough and sneeze into your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose.
- Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys, doorknobs, and mobile devices.
- There is no vaccine to protect you against the common cold.
How to Feel Better
There is no cure for a cold. To feel better, you should get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Over-the-counter medicines may help ease symptoms but will not make your cold go away any faster. Talk to your doctor before giving your child nonprescription cold medicines, since some medicines contain ingredients that are not recommended for children. Learn more about symptom relief of upper respiratory infections, including colds.
Antibiotics will not help you recover from a cold caused by a respiratory virus. They do not work against viruses, and they may make it harder for your body to fight future bacterial infections if you take them unnecessarily.