Over the last month it seems that every second person in Cayman had a particularly vicious form of “rhinovirus,” more commonly known as a cold.
There is nothing more miserable than a cold and once you have it there is nothing you can do but endure it and try and alleviate the symptoms.
The cold is actually the most commonly occurring illness in the entire world,it is caused by a virus and there are more than 200 strains out there. Viruses are also very clever just when you get to know one they genetically modify (mutate) so they are always cunningly always a tail ahead of scientists trying to find a cure. The commonest virus are a group that lives in our nasal passages known as the above mentioned “rhinovirus.”
A cold will usually last usually last about 5-10 days. You usually can tell its starting to happen when you begin sneezing, then the nose starts dripping or gets blocked, accompanied by coughing and or sore throat.
Many people go running to their doctor at the first sign of sniffles but a cold is a viral infection that does not respond to antibiotics which fight bacteria. Anti viral agents such as vaccines will prevent people catching some of the strains. Dr.John Addleson explains that a cold and flu are not that much different though the symptoms of a cold are less severe than a flu which can be accompanied by aches and pains fever and gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea a.
Catching a cold
Catching a cold is easy ,as colds are spread through what Addleson calls “droplet infections” and prolonged contact with someone who has it. They cough sneeze or get it on their hands then the droplets gets transferred to other hands and object (door knobs,surfaces etc.). Addleson notes that your average office and school are breeding grounds and a cold can spread like wild fire. This is why you should wash your hands frequently through out the day.
The key to avoiding colds or overcoming the symptoms is to boost the immune system, Addleson says, he recommends taking in plenty antioxidants such as the B, C and E vitamins. He also advises drinking lots of fluids and getting plenty of rest.
There are different over the counter remedies that will alleviate symptoms and Addleson says you should visit a doctor if you think that your cold is turning into something bacterial and you are developing a secondary infection in the chest. sinuses or middle ear.
Addleson does recommend getting a flu shot , he says “we can’t immunize against every virus but some of the more common ones which have occurred in the Southern hemisphere the previous winter.”
Cold and flu home remedies
Drink fluids might include water, herbal teas, fruit drinks. If you can’t face food make chicken soup which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Inhaled steam may ease your congestion and drippy nose.
Cough: The cough is a reflex that occurs when your airway passages are irritated. Cough preparations are usually divided into 2 main categories:
Suppressants: These act by blocking your cough reflex. As a general rule, use a suppressant for a dry, hacking cough. The agent usually found in over-the-counter cough suppressants is dextromethorphan.
Expectorants: A cough associated with excessive mucus production, or phlegm, warrants use of an expectorant. Guaifenesin is the most common active ingredient in over-the-counter expectorants.
Echinacea has natural immune-boosting properties that might assist in fighting colds and flu. In addition, Echinacea is an herbal antibiotic that may help prevent a secondary respiratory or sinus infection that may result from catching a cold or the flu. Some studies have indicated however that it does not shorten the duration of a cold.