A Answers (7)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredHaving a cold blankets your entire day under a heavy coat of misery. Colds are caused by a virus, and unfortunately, can’t be treated with antibiotics. Fortunately, there are other ways to treat your symptoms. Pick up natural cures and knock out your cold.
Stacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answeredViruses cause colds, which are infections of the upper respiratory tract, or nose and throat. More than 200 different cold viruses have been identified. Most common are the rhinoviruses, named for the Greek word “rhino,” meaning nose. You have to be exposed to a virus to get a cold. Getting chilled or going outside in the cold with wet hair won’t cause a cold. If you’re tired or rundown, you may be more susceptible to viruses. Allergies that affect the nose as well as stress may also make you more vulnerable.
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Both colds and influenza are caused by a variety of different viruses. Influenza is caused by an influenza virus, usually influenza virus A. Colds are caused by over 200 different viruses, often the rhinovirus. Both are very contagious, and are often passed from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes, sending the virus into the air where it is breathed in by someone else. Also, the virus can be present on the hands of an infected person and on objects he or she has touched.
Joel Fuhrman, MD, Family Medicine, answeredThe common cold is caused by a host of viral invaders. The primary offenders are the rhinoviruses, but others include coronavirus, parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, echovirus, and coxsackievirus. Typically, the common cold is contracted through touching a contaminated object or shaking the hand of an infected person, and then touching one's eyes, nose, or mouth.
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Michael T Murray, Naturopathic Medicine, answeredWe are all constantly exposed to many viruses, yet the majority of us experience the discomfort of a "cold" only once or twice a year at most. This scenario suggests that a decrease in resistance or immune function is the major factor in "catching" a cold.
Debra Fulghum Bruce PhD, Healthcare, answered
A mild case of the flu often mimics a cold with such symptoms as cough, runny nose, and sore throat, however a cold rarely raises temperatures above 101 degrees F. Influenza, an acute respiratory infection, is caused by a variety of influenza viruses and often involves muscle aches and soreness, headache, and fever. Flu viruses enter the body through the mucus membranes of the nose, eyes or mouth.
It is important to seek treatment for colds and flu in the elderly, the very young or the chronically ill. Newer prescription treatments can help to prevent and treat flu infection, although these must be used within 48 hours after the start of the illness.
Flu vaccines are a proven way to get protection from flu.
Discovery Health answered
The symptoms for a cold normally include a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, "chills" and a headache. Colds do not include fever -- normally, if there is fever it's called "the flu."
Many different viruses can cause cold symptoms, but about 50 percent of the time a cold is caused by types of viruses called rhinoviruses.
Rhinoviruses get into cells lining your nose and start reproducing. They arrive from other people - cold weather does not cause a cold. Instead, cold weather causes people to congregate indoors making transmission of the virus easier. The rhinovirus generally moves from someone else's hands to your hands (think of shaking hands or touching a door knob) then from your hands into your nose or eyes.
The body reacts to the virus with its immune system. The immune system opens blood vessels through inflammation and increases mucus secretions. These processes give you the runny nose and the stuffy feeling. Irritation caused by the virus and the fluid causes sneezing. If the rhinovirus makes it into the cells lining the lungs, they start producing fluid and mucus also. This produces the cough.
As the immune system gears up (which can take several days) and fights the virus, mucus thickens and changes color with dead cells (a type of pus, really). Eventually, the immune system eliminates the rhinovirus completely and you are well again.