What Causes The Common Cold?

Sick young woman sitting on couch at home, unhealthy girl covered with warm plaid sneezing blowing her nose on paper tissue suffering from grippe temperature or seasonal allergy, cold dwelling concept

A virus causes the common cold. This is a truth, but why some people develop symptoms and others don’t is unknown. There are only theories. Nobody understands why the common cold duration is longer in some people than others. There are theories, but nobody really knows. Although a virus that causes the common cold can’t reproduce outside of the human body, it can live on the skin and other surfaces for as long as three hours.

Que se passe-t-il ?

These germs become airborne when an infected person sneezes and to a lesser extent while he or she coughs. The next person gets infected when he or she inhales the airborne secretions or touches the face after touching an infected person or a surface which they touched. Common cold duration can be as short as two days or as long as fourteen days. Researchers have made some efforts to comprehend the differences in common cold duration among otherwise healthy individuals, but there’s still no clear understanding of why this happens.

The average adult has two to four colds each year, but some people have less and many others have more, based on information given by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. School age children may have as many as 12 colds annually and their caregivers typically have more colds than their fair share. Asthma sufferers have more colds than the average person and in such people the virus often results in hospitalization by aggravating their chronic illness.


A recent study demonstrated that people who have asthma create fewer anti-viral proteins compared to the average person, maybe indicating that immune system function is a variable. It’s believed that close contact among school age kids causes the common cold spread and frequency among them. Some emphasis was placed on educating children about the importance of hand washing and covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 22 million school days are lost annually to common cold.

A recent study in Turkey suggests that zinc supplementation can reduce common cold duration in children and is safe and well tolerated. Unlike the zinc nasal sprays which could result in a permanent loss of the sense of smell in certain individuals, zinc supplements seem to be safe. Zinc is a vital mineral for proper immune system function and overall good health. The typical diet may not provide adequate amounts of zinc, thus daily supplementation is a fantastic idea. Myths about what causes the common cold include becoming overheated or chilled. Researchers have studied the impacts of cold weather on common cold duration and frequency.


Those folks who live in colder climates don’t seem to have more than the average number of colds annually, nor does common cold duration seem to be longer. If weather plays a role, it’s thought that spending more time indoors, where you can be exposed to more individuals that are infected (like a college ), is much more relevant than the outside temperature. Studies of a virus that causes the common cold have demonstrated that the virus is more”active” in lower humidity. But if the weather is warm and humid or cold and dry, studies suggest that when a man has been exposed to a virus that causes the common cold, he/she will get infected 95 percent of the time and create symptoms 75 percent of the time.


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