Are You Sure That’s a Cold You Have?

two girls diagnosing a cold

Most people get so many colds that diagnosing it seems like childs play.

Your cold symptoms usually begin two to three days after you’ve acquired the infection.

The common cold is one of the simplest maladies with which man suffers. It is also one of the most common of his affections. It has been one of his most frequent difficulties throughout recorded history.

Yet only within the last few years has any effort been made to determine the nature and cause of the common cold. During these few years many “research” workers have spent huge sums of money and expended much time and energy in their effort to discover the cause of colds.

Symptoms of the Common Cold

Many of your cold symptoms are simply the result of your body’s natural defense mechanisms.

Usually, the first cold symptom is a discomfort in the nose and throat.

Later you may start sneezing, have a runny nose and feel mildly ill. Your nose secretions are watery and clear and can become annoyingly plentiful during the first day or two. Later these secretions become thicker, opaque, yellow-green and less abundant.

Colds can also produce fevers in infants and children but such fevers in adults (or a high fever) generally indicate the infection is probably flu. A slight fever may develop when your symptoms are beginning. You may also develop a cough which may last well into the second week. Your other cold symptoms will usually disappear in 4 to 10 days.

Other symptoms which may be present are: sore throat, headache, joint aches, irritability, frequent urination, diarrhea, skin rash, swollen glands and fatigue.

Diagnosing a Cold

The common cold is a viral infection of the lining of the nose, sinuses, throat, and large airways.

Colds are easily diagnosed based on the typical cold symptoms. Bacterial infections, allergies, and other disorders can cause similar symptoms, and the same viruses that cause colds can cause symptoms similar to those of flu.

Who Gets A Cold?

Everybody. Because so many different viruses cause colds, and because the number of antibodies you produce against the cold virus decline over time, most of us continue to get colds throughout our lives.

Warning: A cold can turn into a life threatening secondary infection. Be especially carefully with children, the elderly and the frail.

How confident are you at correctly diagnosing your own cold?

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