Sunday, August 6, 2017

What causes a cold ?

How many times were you told as a child to stay indoors because you might catch a cold? How frequently do parents bundle their kids up in oversized coats and boots out of fear that their little ones will catch colds from being out in the cold weather? While it is often believed that being out in the cold is one of the most common causes of a cold, this is a complete misconception. Being outdoors in the cold is actually not a factor in whether you get sick with a cold or not.

The most common causes of a cold are viruses that get inside the body and start growing. These viruses are spread from one person to another, and it doesn’t matter if you are indoors or outdoors. All it takes is someone with a cold virus to touch a door handle before you do, and you can come down with a cold.

Rhinoviruses are the most common viruses that spread the cold. These viruses get into the lining of your nose and start to reproduce. There are more than 100 rhinoviruses known today, and they are the most commonly spread viruses in the fall and spring. Fortunately, colds developing from rhinoviruses tend to be rather mild. They typically do not put your health at serious risk.

There are some other viruses that can lead to symptoms of a cold, but they are not as prevalent. A small percentage can lead to more serious respiratory symptoms that do put your health at greater risk. Fortunately, these viruses are not as common as rhinoviruses.

Now that you understand the most common causes of a cold, how do you protect yourself from getting a cold? Bundling up when you head out into cold weather may not help much, but you can wash your hands frequently and avoid shaking hands with others during the fall and spring. You can’t see the virus that spreads a cold, so you may want to open door handles with a cloth or tissue as well.

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