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Viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, marked by nasal discharge, sneezing, some malaise, and usually without fever.
Persons most commonly affected: Children of both sexes are especially susceptible to colds. Adults with children are more likely to catch colds than those who do not have children.
Organ or part of body involved: Upper respiratory tract
Symptoms and indications: Colds usually begin abruptly. throat discomfort is often first, followed by sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and decreased energy level. Fever is unusual, but children and infants may have fever up to 102 degrees. Chest symptoms are variable, and when they are present, this is commonly referred to as a
Causes and risk factors: Many different viruses can cause the common cold. Each virus may have a slightly different pattern of symptoms and severity. Well over 200 types of cold viruses are known. It is not known exactly how viruses spread, but it seems to be a combination of physical contact and the presence of both virus particles and moisture in the air. There is no evidence that cooling the body induces a cold. Infection may be facilitated by excessive fatigue, emotional stress and other factors that weaken the body
Prevention: There is no known preventive for the common cold. Focus on strengthening the immune system by eating a healthy diet low in sugars and high in fresh fruits and vegetables, practice meditation to reduce stress, get adequate sleep, and get regular moderate exercise. Some steps persons can take to prevent catching a cold and to reduce their spread include washing hands well and frequently, covering the mouth and nose when sneezing, avoiding close contact with someone who has a cold during the first two to four days of their infection, not sharing food, eating utensils, or cups, avoiding crowded places where cold viruses can spread, keeping hands away from the face, avoiding cigarette smoke. Also avoid drinking alcohol, and milk and other dairy products.