Common colds are viral upper respiratory infections that are temporary and do not require specific medical treatment. They most affect children under 6 years of age, and recovery usually takes 7 days or up to 10 days in smokers.
· Low-grade fever or breakdown, which does not exceed 4 days.
· General discomfort.
The form of contagion is direct through the drops of sneezes or coughs that are dispersed in the air by the sick, which contain the viral particles.
Also through contaminated objects, used by the sick and lack of hygiene (washing hands frequently).
Risk factors for colds
· Age, under 6 years and the elderly.
· People with poor or immunosuppressed defenses.
· Time of year fall and winter.
· Smokers are more susceptible, in addition to suffering from the disease for more days.
· Exposure in high-risk groups or in groups with patients.
· Frequent hand washing.
· Disinfection of common areas shared with sick people.
· The use of tissues for coughing and sneezing.
· Avoid sharing personal utensils with infected people.
· Stay away from people with cold symptoms.
Among the causes of colds are various types of viruses. Depending on the type of virus, a different form of cold can develop. Here we mention the 5 most common viruses in common colds:
It is the most common cause of common colds. There are more than 100 different types of rhinovirus. This viral disease is very mild, it does not last more than 5 days with throat and nasal symptoms, without presenting a fever.
They are viruses that can cause cold symptoms associated with gastrointestinal symptoms such as watery diarrhea and limited to a maximum of 48 hours.
It is a virus that can cause lower respiratory infections: trachea, bronchi and pneumonia. Symptoms may be more severe in children.
It is a type of virus that produces fever with a greater involvement in the pharynx, conjunctivitis and laryngitis. It can also cause some more severe types of infection in other organs.
Respiratory syncytial virus:
It is a virus that causes rhinosinusitis, otitis, conjunctivitis, symptoms of productive cough. In immunosuppressed people, children and the elderly they can present with a moderate to severe variety. In older children and adults it occurs as a very benign form of the common cold.
The most important factor to understand in the common viral pictures that affect the respiratory tract is the decrease of the own defenses during the viral picture. This can lead to the appearance of other infections that we call superaggregated. They occur after a period of viral infection over which any other bacterial or fungal infection can proliferate more easily.
Bacterial infections can be located in the respiratory tract or in nearby areas such as sinuses, otitis or more serious infections such as meningitis.
However, the most common way that a common cold can be complicated is with bronchial and lung infections.
Some viruses such as respiratory syncytial virus by itself can generate a more severe version of respiratory infection spread to the bronchi and lungs, which warrants medical intervention. In fact, it represents the most common cause of bronchitis in children under 12 years of age in the United States.
Symptoms that may suggest bronchitis
There are some symptoms to be aware of that can reveal complications of the common cold.
· Fever, usually the common cold causes a low-grade fever or breakdown for 3 to 4 days maximum. The appearance of a fever greater than 38.5 or 39 degrees for more days or its reappearance after a short period of improvement are alarm signs.
· Pulmonary secretions: common colds resolve in maximum 7 days. The duration of coughing for a longer time, or the presence of a cough with yellowish or greenish expectoration, indicates a bacterial infection.
· General symptoms that persist for more than 1 week.
· Dyspnea: shortness of breath indicates inflammatory involvement of the bronchi or lungs
· In young children, nasal flaring, very rapid breathing, the use of neck muscles, or bluish discoloration around the lips and fingers are observed.
· Other important symptoms of complications in children are:
Inactivity, tiredness, irritability, skin rash, and vomiting.
· Adults may have chest pain, confusion, dizziness, and vomiting.
In the case of people with the common cold who are at high risk, they should receive medical attention from the beginning of the clinical picture, to avoid the appearance of complications.
· We can mention those over 65 years of age and children under 2 years of age.
· Asthmatic or atopic people or those who suffer from chronic metabolic, renal, pulmonary or cardiovascular diseases.
· Patients undergoing chemotherapy, immunosuppressants or cancer treatment.
· They are also considered part of the risk groups:
· Health center workers
· Pregnant or breastfeeding women
The main cause of acute brochnuitis, in most cases, is the complication of a common viral respiratory condition.
Symptoms of bronchitis
· Persistent cough that lasts more than 1 week and is accentuated at night.
· Hoarse cough with white, yellow, or greenish secretions.
· Shortness of breath and wheezing.
· Feeling of "purring" in the chest.
· General discomfort.
· Fever greater than 38.5 C.
· Chest pain and a feeling of tightness in the chest.
· Marked lack of appetite.
· You may have associated digestive symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
· Headache or headache.
When these symptoms occur, it is very likely that it is acute bronchitis and the doctor should be consulted to start specific antibiotic treatment and perform the corresponding diagnostic tests: laboratory tests and chest x-rays.
For all cases:
· Maintain good hydration, drink plenty of water.
· Use humidifier.
· Relative rest until improvement of the picture.
· Avoid cigarettes, including passively.
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