Common Cold and Other Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
What is an upper respiratory tract infection?
A cold is an infection of the nose and upper airways caused by a germ (virus). They are extremely common. An adult can expect 2-4 colds a year, and a young child about 3-8 colds a year. Many different viruses can cause a cold.
Symptoms of Common Cold?
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Post-nasal drip (drop-by-drop release of fluid from your nose into the back of the throat)
You may also get a cough and a mild fever.
Colds typically last from a few days to about a week or longer.
What is the treatment for an upper respiratory tract infection?
A main aim of treatment is to ease symptoms whilst your immune system clears the infection. The most useful treatments are:
- Taking paracetamol ,ibuprofen ,aspirin to reduce a high temperature (fever), and to ease any aches, pains and headaches. (Children aged under 16 should not take aspirin.)
- Having plenty to drink if you have a fever, to prevent mild lack of fluid in the body (dehydration).
- If you smoke, you should try to stop for good. URTIs and serious lung diseases tend to last longer in smokers.
Prevent Colds With Frequent Hand Washing
Your best protection from the common cold and flu is frequent hand washing