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Common cold

The common cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract, usually caused by a virus; and it is important not to confuse it with the flu, caused by other viruses (influenza) and generally with more intense symptoms.

This time we will focus on the common cold, as it is one of the most common causes of medical consultation, especially during winter. Despite sharing some symptoms with the flu, the main ones are usually runny and / or stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, cough, sneezing, fever, headache, among others. Here is a table with the main differences between the common cold and the flu.

Rhinoviruses are the family of viruses most associated with the common cold, they are concentrated in the runny nose and are the reason why it is so easily spread by sneezing or coughing.

The common cold is self-limiting, that is, the immune system of any healthy person can cure it; that is why we should only use symptomatic treatments to reduce fever, pain, runny nose and nasal congestion, there are also some scientifically proven natural treatments that could help; but under no circumstances should antibiotics be used.

Finally, we must remember that it is a very common disease and that it is spread from person to person, so education is important when sneezing or coughing, washing hands routinely and maintaining spaces with adequate natural ventilation even if it is cold. it is better to bundle up than to catch a cold.

Source: Fashner J, Ericson K, Werner S. Treatment of the Common Cold in Children and Adults - American Family Physician. Vol. 86, American family physician. 2012 Jul.
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