Stay away from the cold & flu!...

The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract - the nose and the throat. It is usually harmless, although it may not feel that way. It may be a runny nose, sore throat & cough... or watery eyes, sneezing, and congestion.. or all of this.

The symptoms usually appear 1-3 days after exposure to a cold-causing virus. The signs and symptoms of a common cold may include a runny or stuffy nose, itchy or sore throat, cough, congestion, body aches, headache, sneezing, watery eyes, and low-grade fever.

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Causes:

 A cold virus enters the body through your mouth, eyes, or nose. It can spread through droplets in the air when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes, or talks. Or it can spread by hand-to-hand contact or by sharing contaminated objects, such as utensils, towels, toys, or telephones. if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth after such contact or exposure, you are likely to catch a cold.


Complications:  Acute ear infection, wheezing, sinusitis or bronchiolitis

The common cold usually runs its course, but you can make yourself as comfortable as possible.

• Drink lots of fluids. Water, juice and warm lemon water help replace fluids lost during mucus production or fever.

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• Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they cause dehydration; cigarette smoke also aggravates the symptoms.

• A warm saltwater gargle can temporarily relieve a sore or scratchy throat.

• Drink warm milk. Milk does not cause mucus build-up. In fact, the protein, calories, and fat in milk make you strong.

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• Be cautious about nasal decongestant sprays. They may work at first, but if used for more than three days, your stuffy nose will get worse when you stop.

• Decaffeinated tea or warm beverages can be soothing and can help break up mucus.

• Do cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing. Germs and viruses cling to bare hands & muffling coughs and sneezes often result in passing along the germs to others.

• Exercise regularly; it increases the body's natural virus-killing cells.

• Getting enough sleep is the key to a healthy immune system. Resting when you first come down with a cold or flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle.

• Apply hot packs around congested sinuses.

• Sleep with an extra pillow under the head. This will help drain the nasal passages.