In case you didn’t know from the cacophony of sniffles and coughs in public environments – cold weather is in full swing.

As mitigation measures for the COVID-19 pandemic have stopped transmission of other respiratory viruses, we are seeing an influx of cases of RSV, flu and COVID, as well as a shortage of over-the-counter pain medication for children Is.

If you are sick, health experts say it is important to stay home and rest to allow the body to recover and prevent the virus from spreading to others.

But some cold symptoms can last for weeks. So how can you know when is the right time to return to daily activities? Here’s what the experts said.

Symptoms of the Common Cold: Can You Have a Fever With a Cold?

It’s not common to have a fever with a cold, but it can happen, said Dr. Joseph Khabja, pulmonary and critical care physician at the Cleveland Clinic.

Typical cold symptoms include:

  • runny or stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • sore throat
  • mild headache
  • Sneeze

How long does a cold last? How long is it contagious?

Cold symptoms can last seven to 10 days and are most contagious in the first four to five days, said Dr. Maria Eugenia Petrini, medical director of the Clinically Integrated Network at Nemours Children’s Health.

Can you catch a cold from cold weather?

“Bundle up or you’ll catch a cold!” It’s an age-old expression that parents forbid their children from wearing winter jackets. But a recent study suggests they may be right.

Researchers at Northeastern University studied nasal samples and found that the immune system in the nose works differently at different temperatures:

  • Under normal body-heat conditions, the nose successfully deploys extracellular vesicles that trap and prevent viruses from entering the body.
  • The researchers found that just a 5-degree drop in temperature resulted in a 50% reduction in immune activity.

“Our study really focused on prevention, which is early exposure and how to boost your defenses,” said lead author Mansoor Amiji, professor of pharmaceutical science at Northeastern University.

how to treat common cold

Unlike bacterial infections, antibiotics have no effect on respiratory viruses. Petrini said that means the best thing to do is drink plenty of fluids and rest as the virus runs its course.

While many Americans rely on pain relievers to ease cold symptoms, the lack of over-the-counter medicine for children has sent some parents into a panic. But health experts say that there are ways to treat a cold at home without medicines:

  • Drink plenty of fluids: Yes, this includes chicken noodle soup. Clear liquids – such as water – are best but experts also recommend warm apple juice or lemonade for young children.
  • Stay comfortable: Wear loose-fitting clothes or take a warm bath when you have a fever. Avoid cold baths as this can make you shiver and raise your body temperature.
  • overcrowding? turn on the humidifier
  • get plenty of rest.

What can winter do wrong?

Health experts say that anything that weakens the body’s immune system can stop you from getting better, faster. This includes physical exertion, excessive stress, and smoking and alcohol.

“If you don’t give yourself extra time to recover, you can prolong recovery,” Petrini said.

When can you return to daily activities after a cold?

Health experts urge people to stay home when sick to prevent spreading the virus in public places.

“People think they can go on with their regular lives. But if you have a cold, you are going through a viral process that is contagious,” Petrini said. “Staying home when you feel sick is the right thing to do for yourself and for others.”

But after a week or two, it’s fine to return to daily activities, even if there are still some cold symptoms. But it’s important to listen to your body’s limits.

gym: “Go back slowly rather than going full throttle,” Petrini said. “Instead of taking a full class, take half a class, test the waters, see how the body reacts to that exercise and demand.”

The Office: “We always tell kids to be able to go back to school … they need to be fever-free for 24 hours and the symptoms need to improve,” Petrini said. The same goes for adults, if they’re not feeling too tired.

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