Bacterial infections strike the highest point through summer season. The incidence of some of the illnesses might be up to 46 percent higher in summer than in winter.
Everyone knows there is seasonality to some viral infections such as common cold or the influenza
The common cold, also known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection, is a self-limited contagious illness that can be caused by a number of different types of viruses. More than 200 different types of viruses are known to cause the common cold. Because so many different viruses can cause a cold and because new cold viruses constantly develop, the body never builds up resistance against all of them. For this reason, colds are a frequent and recurring problem.
Symptoms of the common cold include nasal stiffiness or drainage, sore or scratchy throat, sneezing, hoarseness, cough, and perhaps a fever and headache. Many people with a cold feel tired and achy. These symptoms will typically last anywhere from three to 10 days.
The common cold usually spreads by direct hand-to-hand contact with infected secretions or from contaminated surfaces. For example, if a person with a cold blows or touches their nose and then touches someone else, that person can subsequently become infected with the virus. Additionally, a cold virus can live on objects such as pens, books, telephones, computer keyboards, and coffee cups for several hours and can thus be acquired from contact with these objects.
Many people confuse the common cold with influenza (the flu). Influenza is caused by the influenza virus, while the common cold generally is not. While some of the symptoms of the common cold and influenza may be similar, patients with the common cold typically have a milder illness. Patients with influenza are usually sicker and have a more abrupt onset of illness with fever, chills, headache, body aches, dry cough, and extreme weakness.
Though differentiating between the common cold and influenza can be difficult, there is laboratory testing available to confirm the diagnoses of influenza.
There is no cure for the common cold. Home treatment is directed at alleviating the symptoms associated with the common cold and allowing this self-limiting illness to run its course.
Supportive measures for the common cold include rest and drinking plenty of fluids.
Generally the common cold can be treated at home and managed with over-the-counter medications. However, if a person develops more severe symptoms such as shaking chills, high fever (greater than 102 F), severe headache or neck stiffness, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing or chest pain, the physician or health-care practitioner must be consulted immediately.
If one notices facial pain or yellow/green drainage from your nose accompanied by a fever, it is possible that you have a sinus infection (sinusitis) that would benefit from a medical evaluation and a possible course of antibiotics.
The most important measure to prevent the common cold is frequent hand washing, as this can destroy viruses that you have acquired from touching contaminated surfaces. Also, try to avoid sharing utensils and try to use disposable items (such as disposable cups) if someone in your family has a cold. Finally, lifestyle modifications such as smoking cessation and stress management may decrease your susceptibility to acquiring the common cold.
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