Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr Anita Mathew Explains Common Colds & How You Can Treat & Prevent Them

The cold season brings along a host of diseases along with the festive season and merriment. The common cold, including chest cold and head cold, and seasonal flu are caused by viruses. And with the ongoing pandemic, its symptoms can be mistaken for the coronavirus easily. So what are the symptoms of the common cold and how do you get relief from it?

1. What are the symptoms of a common cold?

The symptoms generally range from sneezing, runny and blocked nose, headache, fever, throat pain and cough.

2. How long does a common cold last?

The common cold generally lasts between 5 -7 days. It begins with sneezing, having a runny nose and goes on to progress accordingly to fever and headache. The cough gets better in 5 to 7 days but some patients may continue to have the cough for a few more days.

3. How to differentiate between a common cold & atypical COVID-19 symptoms?

Some symptoms of a common cold are: – Sneezing – Stuffy or runny nose – Fever may occur – Cough and expectoration – Lack of taste and smell is relative – Fatigue

4. Is there a cure for the common cold? Will a cold go away by itself?

Most viruses are self-eliminating, the virus causing common cold is no different, and a virus like Influenza mutates hence it is not needed to visit a doctor. There is no medicine except symptomatic medication that is recommended.

5. Should you stay home if you have a cold, especially in the pandemic?

Stay home if you have a cold. It is always better to rest but one can carry out routine activities which one can manage. Your body will tell you what it’s up for.