The common cold is one of the commonly known viral infections. It dated around 200 years and was believed to be caused or originated from the birds. Researchers have indicated that it is a common virus for all healthy individuals, which is why it is termed a common cold. It was officially discovered in the 1950s and affected humans from then (Hemila, 2017). Studies have broadly indicated that healthy individuals (adults) are infected by the virus two to three times a year. At the same time, infants are affected more often than adults due to their low immune systems (Green et al.,2017). Several viruses mainly cause it, but the most common are the rhinoviruses, affecting an individual’s upper respiratory tract, especially the nose and throat. Common cod has a couple of symptoms easily treated or cured without even having to seek medical attention.
The common cold is mainly found to enter the human body through one’s mouth, eyes or nose, especially when one gets into contact with infected secretions. This shows an airborne virus infection that can be spread through mouth, eyes or nose secretions (Lo, 2020). Furthermore, when a person infected by the virus coughs, talks or sneezes, their droplets can be air transported and affect several individuals. Studies have indicated that the common cold has symptoms that have a lifespan of seven to ten days, of which one doesn’t require medical attention to overcome. It is maximumly brought under control at homes by the use of over-the-counter drugs. Antibiotics are not necessary as the condition is a virus infection (Collin et al.,2019). After ten days, if the symptoms persist, medical attention is needed to control the condition entirely. Coughing, sore throats, sneezing and runny nose are the common symptoms of the common cold.
Several studies have been carried to ascertain whether the cold weather brings the common cold. Most studies have offered a significant explanation stating that the cold weather does not bring the common cold, but the weather significantly promotes its chances of infecting individuals (Coerdt et al.,2020). That is, during the cold weather, its existence is extensively promoted. Despite the condition dating more years from its discovery, it lacks cure and vaccine, meaning no specific cure for this condition. The viruses causing the common cold develop constantly, and new viruses develop, resulting in the human body being unable to develop resistance. A recent study has shown that in the United States, more than $19 billion are lost annually in the economic sector due to the common cold as it causes individuals to be absent from work and hence less productivity in work.
Furthermore, the cases reported per year in the United States are more than one billion, with around 98 million physician visits and 21 million absences in school. Despite being caused by a couple of viruses (around 200 viruses), Rhinovirus causes most of them per year (Tang et al.,2017). Research has shown that more than 82% of common cold infections reports worldwide are mainly from the rhinovirus. Rhinovirus has been ramped during March, April, May, September, October and November. During this month’s cases of common cold infections due to rhinovirus are maximum. The human body cannot develop resistance to most common cold-causing viruses as they constantly develop with the new virus being introduced now and then.
Adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and the recently recognized virus termed covid -19 (coronavirus) have been found to cause the cold constantly. It has been found that more than 40% of the common cold reported among adults is caused by the rhinovirus, which develops well during those temperatures found on the nose. Despite being found to ramped in six months of the year, it affects humans throughout the year (Tribolet et al.,2020). These cold viruses can serve well on computer keyboards, cellphones, doorknobs, books, pens etc., for more than 24 hours. This means that when a healthy person touches those surfaces, they quickly get the cold. To avoid these infections, individuals are advised to keep their surfaces clean, regularly washing their hands, smoking, and touching vital body parts, especially the nose, mouth and eyes, as they are the main ways that the virus is transmitted. Individuals who smoke have been found to battle significantly with the common cold symptoms as it persists for more than ten days. They have to seek medical attention to deal with the condition and have a healthy life again. When one avoids smoking, it dramatically saves them from contracting the virus.
Despite the ordinary cold caused by a virus, it is purely harmless, and an average individual gets infected regularly. It is mainly severe during the first two to three days where one has an uncontrollable runny nose and other couples of symptoms. Weakened immune systems, age, and variation in season are the main risk factors associated with the common cold (Lin et al.,2020). For example, young children are constantly affected by the cold as their immune system is not well developed, thus unable to resist the virus efficiently. Also, in warm climates like Africa, during the rainy season, fall and winter causes of the cold become ramped.
During humid conditions, especially winter, most people spend most of their time indoors, meaning that they will close to each other more often. If one gets infected, they quickly pass it to others with more ease. Also, these conditions are exceptionally favourable for the virus to survive. That is the primary reason why children in school and adults in congested workplaces contract the disease quickly. Those individuals with severe symptoms seek medical attention where they are diagnosed by either a general physician, paediatrician, even emergency medicine physician. These diagnoses include a physical examination and symptom descriptions that quickly help decide on the disease’s severity.
Pathogenesis tries to explain how a particular condition arises and the main reason as to why it happens that is the factors contributing to its manifestation. Furthermore, how a disease spreads from one individual to another, symptoms, actual causes, how the body reacts to it are also covered under this broad topic. As stated, earlier rhinovirus is the primary virus that causes the common cold and dramatically affects the nasal epithelium, forming a runny nose. Common cold infection mainly arises when an individual comes into contact with secretions from an infected person. Some of the secretions include the mouth, nose, and eyes. These are the main reason why one is highly recommended not to touch their eyes, mouth, and quickly lead to the development of the cold.
When one gets infected with rhinovirus, they develop a couple of symptoms that only persist for seven days in adults, but in infants or children, it persists for more than ten days. This means that the children are the ones who are affected by the disease more than the adults. Since it is an airborne disease spread when one gets into contact form droplets of an infected person, it can be easily prevented (Cirrincione et al.,2020). That is, if one keeps their surfaces clean, washing their hands regularly (sanitize) and avoidance touching their mouths, eyes, and nose, the chances of contracting the disease are low. It behaves the same as the recently discovered virus known as coronavirus. Coronavirus is known to survive on various surfaces for more than 24 hours, meaning that if an infected person touches a surface and some of the virus left there, a healthy person might quickly get the virus when they touch those surfaces.
The coronavirus’s primary way is mitigated through sanitizing hands, wearing masks, and keeping social distance. These same measures can be employed to keep common cold away in that wearing a mask helps prevent mouth and nose secretions from getting into the air, thus the virus won’t spread rapidly. also keeping of social distance can easily help keep or kill the virus from spreading as it mainly spreads fast in congested places or where people or individuals are close to each other. Most cases of common cold have been found to occur due to a number of risk factors which range from climatic season, immune system and the age.
Those individuals who have weakened immune system are readily affected by the virus because their immunity is weak to fight the virus away. Mostly their will require medication to effectively alleviate the symptoms and help them recover from them. In individuals who smoke, their immunity is generally low meaning that when they are infested by the virus, they will be unable to overcome it as their immunity is insufficient in fighting the disease. Medical practitioners have worldly recommended individuals to stop smoking as it great makes one vulnerable to common cold, and other risk factors. The main reason why common cold is caused by the virus and the body is unable to prevent us from them is because the condition is mainly caused by new virus as the virus develops constantly (Keni et al.,2020). It means that the body will develop resistance to the initial virus but when one fully recovers, a new virus infests again which is unrecognized by the immune system resulting in infection as the body can’t resist it.
Since common cold is a self-limiting illness and easily resolves in the minimal time possible it doesn’t have a crucial mechanism of how it causes infection (Soler et al.,2020). Its biochemistry mechanism starts by ICAM-1, and CDHR3 receptors being bonded by the virus, which essentially reads to the inflammatory mediators being triggered and hence released. The above mechanism is greatly associated with the rhinovirus. These inflammatory mediators are the ones that leads to the symptom being manifested. Despite the virus affecting the nasal epithelium, it doesn’t cause any damage to it, as it is the at the nose where its moderate temperature for survival is found. When the respiratory syncytial virus is found to cause the cold, it mainly affects the epithelium of the nasal, that is it damages it and later proceeds to the lower respiratory tract. This virus gets into one’s body when we common into contact with droplets from infected persons. The nose and the throats are the main areas where the virus is found to cause severe effects as it easily survives under their temperatures.
Parainfluenza virus also shows a different mechanism in that it results in the nose, bronchi and the throat being inflamed. These conditions are severe and cause one to have sleepless nights, try to fight it off (Kardos et al.,2021). When one gets infested by the common cold, rhinovirus, their response forms the bases of their symptoms. It means that every individual will display a different symptom from the others. during the first 2 to 3 days some may have sore throats, others have runny nose. Those who have strong immune systems are greatly affected by the virus, as they are able to easily mitigate its effect and render it harmless.
Common cold has a very simple lifecycle, that as only four cycles. It starts with the incubation cycle, where one has the disease but the symptoms have not yet shown. It is mainly occurring in the first two days. During this period, one doesn’t feel any signs of sickness. It takes 12-24 hours for rhinovirus to cause the disease (Tan et al.,2020). While other viruses have an incubation period of more than five days, but this is mainly determined by the kind of virus causing the disease. After the incubation period is over the first stage which mainly starts from the third day of the cold. At this period symptoms of the cold are manifested in various forms such as runny nose, sneezing, fatigue, irritation of the throat, and even sore throats. When these symptoms manifest, immediately the individual is contagious and can easily spread the virus. Studies have shown that when zinc supplement are consumed during the incubation period, may protect one from getting the disease, or may make the disease lack adverse effects on the human body.
Stage two, is mainly the worse period as the symptom of runny nose persist, and increased coughing. These make one to feel uncomfortable and completely changes the moods of an individuals, a couple of individuals gets moody during this period and some find being silent is the most effective, to reducing the severity of the infection. It mainly lasts for three days that is from day four to day seven (Lucanska et al.,2020). The last cycle is stage three that lasts from day seven to the last day of the infection mainly day 10 in adults and 14 in children. It is mainly the period where the runny nose ceases but the secretion of the nasal get thicker and change colour. During this period the human body is now effectively fighting of the disease, and an individual doesn’t experience severe symptoms. When the symptoms do persist, medical examination will be done, to help boost the immune symptom of the body to efficiently fight of the disease.
The virulence of the virus causing bacteria helps it in easily overcoming the virulence factors of the humans or an individual. That is, the virus uses protease or the IgA virulence factor to easily affect the human virulence factor especially the memory cells, T and B cells and the human antibodies. The memory cells are effective in that they help the body to remember a virus and easily bonds with it which facilitates its elimination as their bind with the virus, and thus one will not be affected by the virus. But this is not the case with rhinovirus as it is a stereotype with more than 100 stereotypes. This means that our body will always be affected by it as it attacks with different stereotype which is not recognized by our memory cells. The same stereotype is experienced in influenza virus.
Common cold has a couple of symptoms which vary depending on the virus causing it. The main ones include; sneezing, coughing sneezing, sore throats, runny nose and congestion. The symptoms are similar in both children and adults, meaning that one can easily know if one is suffering from the condition. When the symptoms persist, some severe symptoms are observed which include; ear pain, lack of appetite, drowsiness. These symptoms are mainly observed during the first stage after incubation and varies incredibly as the stages progresses (Ulupinar et al.,2021). The main symptom that is first felt in all human beings is the runny nose, which sometimes causes the nose to change colour and get extremely reddish. These nose secretions are mainly clear, but as the condition progresses the clear secretion becomes more thicker and even changes colour.
When one is extremely exposed to humid conditions, these symptoms persist and are much prevalent, that is during warmer conditions the symptoms are not that prevalent as compared to when the climates are humid. The main reason to this is because during humid conditions the virus conditions of temperature, which are needed for optimum performance is greatly achieved, which results in more of its activities being shown on sore throats, and on the runny nose (Flerlage, et al.,2021). The main reason why these symptoms are observed or manifest themselves in the humans is because the human body was not able to develop the required resistance need to prevent these infections from getting into severity. That is, one may have a common cold like two months ago, and the body develops mechanism that easily recognizes the virus as astray. But after the two months the same individual is affected by the common cold, but they will be unable to stop it from causing the symptoms since the virus affects humans using different stereotypes and every time, they cause cold.
Studies have shown that when these symptoms get severe and doesn’t cease after 10 days in humans and after 14 days in children, medical attention is needed to ascertain the major reason why the symptoms have been so severe and persisted (Leigh et al.,2021). The major reason that has been associated with the common cold being persistence and the body being unable to overcome it easily is mainly weakened immune system and smoking. That is, when the body has an immune system that is weak, it takes longer for it to easily recognized the virus as harmful, yet it has already affected the host. To avoid such complications and the cold from extending its lifespan of 7 to 10 days in humans some over the counter drugs are recommended which significantly helps reduce the severity and the chances of one being overcome by the cold.
Research has indicted that any physician can diagnose and offer medication to reduce some of the pain associated with common cold. Some of the physicians range from the home nurses, or physicians, general practitioners, emergency medicine physicians and more have been found to offer maximum medication on the condition (Lalchhandama, 2020). Thus, it is much advisable that when the common cold life span progresses without ceasing to seek medical help for physical examination, as it might not only common col alone, but either a couple of conditions.
Treatment and cures
Common cold is broadly known as condition that affects the upper respiratory tract latter progresses to the lower respiratory tract. These means that the nose and throats are the major parts which are considerably affected and shows the degree of how severe the cold is (Casanova et al.,2021). For example, when one contracts common cold, and experiences both sore throat and runny nose, it means that the cold is not that harmful. But those who only get a runny nose without any other respiratory tract infections they are significantly affected by the cold causing maximum effect on the organism.
Their existence no treatment or cure, that is there is no drug that has been set aside or developed specifically mitigate the effect of the cold. It means that the body itself is able to develop its own mechanism to deal with the infection and offer maximum results without facing any difficulties. Treatments officially include use of over-the-counter medication and zinc supplements which greatly ensures that one is able to perform develop full mechanism to overcome the infection (Malesker et al.,2017). Studies have shown that those individuals who consume the zinc supplements before the infection, they have high chances that the supplements will help the body to effectively respond to the infection and provide correct information.
Since they are no laid down treatments and cure, their exists a couple of ways in which the condition is effectively mitigated for example, regular washing of hands, cleaning surfaces, avoiding crowded places especially during the humid conditions especially on winter when the condition is greatly on peak time (Yáñez et al.,2021). Also, when one is in infected, they are advised to avoid sharing of substances such as kissing, hugging as these actions causes on to get into contact with the other persons secretions. Furthermore, while coughing they are advised to use their elbow, or a throwable tissue paper. These actions greatly ensures that the disease doesn’t get any chance of developing into severity.
Cough drops, over the counter medicine, vitamin c, cough syrups, Tylenol have been used over the years and have shown advanced benefits in alleviating the complication of the common cold. Researches have indicated that to efficiently reduce fever and sore throats acetaminophen and ibuprofen are employed as they lead to medication and relieves headaches and other pains. Decongestant nasal drops, sipping warm fluids, intake of more fluids, and adjusting the temperature and humidity in the room. For example, if the temperatures were dry, cold humid condition would be sufficient to help one cope with the disease. It has been noted that common cold greatly leads to one losing a lot of fluids especially trough nasal secretions, hence one should intake more fluids, juice and etc to increase their chances of fighting the disease. One can also take rest from work or they may fail to attend work so as to avoid the severity of the disease.
Inconclusion, common cold is a self-limiting condition that doesn’t require any medication attention, but over the counter drugs can be employed to alleviate the conditions and reduce pains and fever, Tylenol, acetaminophen is used to effectively keep away symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and so one. It is thus advisable to use ensure that one is in clean room, avoiding congested places, sanitizing, and covering one’s cough.
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