HEALTH FRIENDLY: Simple Ways To Avoid Common Cold This Rainy Season
Common cold can be so distressing most times. If its not a runny nose or sore throat and cough, its the watery eyes, sneezing and congestion or maybe all of the discomforts put together. This is very common at cold weathers.
The cold weather is here again, what are you doing to prevent yourself from Common Cold? If you still have not figured out what to do or you need to do something different this season then this edition of Health-Friendly is for you.
Common Cold is one of the reasons why people seek medical care especially at harmattan and rainy seasons. It’s a viral infection of your upper respiratory tract — your nose and throat. It is a self-limited contagious illness that can be caused by a number of different types of viruses. The common cold is medically referred to as a viral upper respiratory tract infection.
Dr. Nnakelu Eriobu a Public Health Physician who was featured on Health Friendly said because of the name “Common Cold” a lot of people turn to associate common Cold with cold but in reality they are caused by viral infections.
According to the Doctor is it how the cold weather acts on our respiratory system and in the dissipation of the virus that causes common cold not the cold itself.
He said common cold is caused by viruses and that more than a hundred viruses can cause this respiratory tract infection. People can be infected with the virus at any time, but they are prevalent at cold weathers because they stay longer in the air because of the low humidity.
Common Cold according to Dr. Nnnakelu is highly contagious; its spread either by direct contact with infected secretions from contaminated surfaces or by inhaling the airborne virus after individuals sneeze or cough.
“Person-to-person transmission often occurs when an individual who has a cold blows or touches their nose and then touches someone or something else. A healthy individual who then makes direct contact with these secretions can subsequently become infected, often after their contaminated hands make contact with their own eyes, nose, or mouth.”
A cold virus can live on objects such as pens, books, telephones, computer keyboards, and coffee cups for as long as forty eight hours hours and can thus be acquired from contact with these objects
Preschool children are at greatest risk of frequent colds, but even healthy adults can experience a few colds each year.
Symptoms of a common cold usually appear about one to three days after exposure to the virus. Signs and symptoms of a common cold may include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy or sore throat
- Slight body aches or a mild headache
- Watery eyes
- Low-grade fever
- Mild fatigue
- Loss of appetite
The discharge from your nose may become thicker and yellow or green in color as a common cold runs its course. What makes a cold different from other viral infections is that you generally wont have a high fever. Youre also unlikely to experience significant fatigue from a common cold.
Dr. Nnakelu says, while it is impossible to completely prevent the spread of colds, there are steps you can take to reduce you and your family’s chances of becoming infected with the virus that causes colds. They are:
Wash your hands often:- Frequent hand washing can destroy viruses that you have acquired from touching surfaces used by other people. You can also carry a small tube of hand sanitizer or sanitizing hand wipes when visiting public places. Teach your children the importance of hand washing too.
Avoid touching your face: – especially the nose, mouth, and eye areas, if you are around someone with a cold or have been touching surfaces in a public area.
Avoid smoking or smoky areas: – Cigarette, smoke can irritate the airways and increase susceptibility to colds and other infections. Even exposure to passive smoke can make you (or your children) more vulnerable to colds.
Use disposable items if someone in your family is infected: – Disposable cups can be thrown away after each use and prevent accidental spread of the virus from sharing of cups or glasses.
Keep household surfaces clean: – Door knobs, drawer pulls, keyboards, light switches, telephones, remote controls, counter tops, and sinks can all harbor viruses for hours after their use by an infected person. Wipe these surfaces frequently with soap and water or a disinfectant solution. If your child has a cold, wash his or her toys as well when you are cleaning household surfaces and commonly-used items.
Use paper towels in the kitchen and bathroom for hand washing: – Germs can live for several hours on cloth towels. Alternatively, have separate towels for each family member and provide a clean one for guests.
Control stress: – Studies have shown that people experiencing emotional stress have weakened immune systems and are more likely to catch a cold than their calmer counterparts.
The expert added that most people recover from a common cold in about a week or two and If symptoms don’t improve, he advised you see a doctor.