Are you feeling a little under the weather? Does your nose produce more fluids than usually? Does your throat feel like a cat has snuck into it and used it as a scratch pad? And does your cough sound like you are about to cough part of your lung? If you have any of these symptoms, than congratulations you have the common cold.
And it SUCKS.
How do you even get a cold? It just got warmer, snow has melted and annoying birds are singing at 5 am next to your window. What is the common cold? In fact a cold is considered a “viral infection that infects the upper respiratory system”. It is mainly caused by “coronaviruses” or “rhinoviruses”, but can be caused 500 strands of viruses that the body has not build up immunity to. Going out in the cold does not affect catching the cold or spreading it. Since we know a little bit of biology since our high school ages, Antibiotics cannot cure viruses, they cure bacterial infections. Meaning if you have a common cold and you are prescribed antibiotics, they will be pretty useless.
Most common symptoms include: sore throat, cough, slight fever, sneezing, hoarse voice, blocked nose and headaches. In rare cases a cold can also include a bacterial infection for example in the sinuses, in which antibiotics are implemented. Complications can go as far as acute bronchitis, pneumonia and acute bacterial sinusitis.
And even more good news.
How do you avoid catching a cold?
- Avoid contact with the infected. (In other words if you live in college dorms or have roommates, quarantine them)
- Eat loads of vitamin rich fruits for your immune system.
- Wash your hands regularly, it can be transmitted by touch. (No more shaking hands, guys!)
- Avoid touching your face.
In other words, not catching a cold is like avoiding a zombie attack in a post apocalyptic world. Is there a cure?
Apparently if you follow these steps than you should be able to cure a cold:
- Drink loads of fluids
- Get plenty of rest
- Take paracetamol for headaches
- Antibiotics are useless.
In other words, tough it out! Get some sleep and you should be fine right?
What if your cold is flu? The symptoms for the flu and the common cold are similar except when you have the flue you just feel worse. I remember when I lost my voice, had a high fever and couldn’t eat because of sore throat . Went to the doctor and he prescribed me paracetamol and tea. You got to be kidding me, sir.
Well, what about those that do not want/like to go to the doctors? We all tried to diagnose ourselves at some point of our lives. Probably spent extensive amount of time on our symptoms making them more and more specific and getting a result of a disease that was affecting some people in the middle ages. No, you probably do not have polio, smallpox or tuberculosis. You have a common cold.
But some people take it to seriously.
Let’s do a little experiment; let’s try to diagnose my sick mess.
Web MD should do the trick, it looks pretty high tech too. It’s pretty easy, you go to the Symptom Checker, pick a body part of that feels out of ordinary and pick a symptom and it gives you a conclusion right. Here we go:
You start by filling your age and gender.
Pick a body part that feels sick.
I picked nose and difficulty to breath for this experiment.
My result was foreign object in the nose….
Could be a zombie bug, but I don’t think so … Thanks anyways.
Obviously there are more symptoms if you scroll down and maybe if you redefine it better you will finally reach the common cold or polio. Some people decide to Google a minor thing like, pain in hand. Maybe cause you hit it against a door last night…. Maybe you have peripheral neuropathy…
In the end of the day, all i can do is drink some tea, take some paracetamol and go to sleep. Show up to class, infect some more people, like a zombie.