Sunday, April 13, 2008

Common Cold And Coughs Explained

An infection- mainly occurring in the nose and throat. Common colds are caused by viruses and generally take two to five days to recover from. The viruses that cause common colds are very contagious and are spread by a simple fine spray from sneezes and coughs.

Coughing is a reflex action that can be caused by many irritants. Although it can be an indication of more grave illnesses such as pneumonia- it usually is due to upper respiratory tract (nose and throat) infections.

The differences between colds and flu

Often people talk of ‘having the flu’ when they are actually suffering from a cold. They are both caused by viruses. However, the flu- influenza- is a serious illness that can result in death.

The flu start suddenly with a high fever and you would feel so unwell and take to bed immediately. The onset of a cold, however, is more gradual and symptoms are normally restricted to just your throat and nose.

Source: Health care booklet from Guardian pharmacy

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