Wednesday 20 March 2013


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Cold viruses are spread by droplets that are sneezed or coughed out by an infected person. Other people can breathe in these droplets or transfer the droplets to their eyes or nose on their fingers.

A cold usually begins with fatigue, a feeling of being chilled, sneezing and a headache, followed in a couple of days by a runny nose and cough.  People with a cold may also suffer with a mild fever, earache, tiredness and headache. 

Symptoms of a cold include:
    • runny nose, beginning with clear mucus that develops into thicker, green mucus as the cold progresses
    • blocked nose
    • sore throat
    • sneezing
    • cough
 Symptoms may begin within 16 hours of exposure and typically peak two to four days after onset. Symptoms develop over one or two days and gradually get better after a few days.They usually resolve in seven to ten days but some can last for up to three weeks.In severe cases some people develop a post-viral cough which can linger after the infection is gone.

Colds and flu both share some of the same symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and a sore throat, but they are caused by different viruses. There are around 200 viruses that cause colds and three that cause flu. 

A cold is most contagious during the early stages when the person has a runny nose and sore throat.Protect yourself and others against colds by coughing or sneezing into a tissue, throwing a used tissue away as soon as possible, washing your hands as soon as possible and having a flu jab every year if you're in an at-risk group.

If you're generally fit and healthy, you can usually manage the symptoms of a cold yourself without seeing a doctor. Look after yourself by resting, drinking non-alcoholic fluids to avoid dehydration and avoiding strenuous activity. Painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can relieve aches and pains.

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