Common Cold: As Common As The Air We Breathe

| Total Words: 556

Watery eyes, congestion, sniffles, sneezes, sore throat, cough, headache…these are some of the symptoms of a common cold. A common cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract, nose and throat. It is usually harmless, although it may not feel that way. The common cold usually catches up with us at one time or another. With children getting as many as eight colds per year or more. This contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory tract is the most common infectious disease in the United States and the number-one reason children visit the doctor and stay home from school.

There are approximately 200 viruses that can cause a cold. Most colds are caused by rhinoviruses (the name comes from rhin, the Greek word for nose) that are in invisible droplets in the air we breathe or on the things we touch. Aside from rhinoviruses, there are more than 100 subtypes that cause up to half of all colds. They can infiltrate the protective lining of the nose and throat, triggering an immune system reaction that can make throat sore, suffer headache, and experience difficulty to breathe through the nose. While getting a chill does not cause a cold, there are factors...

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