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A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Colds


Colds: The common cold is a contagious viral upper respiratory tract infection. It affects sinuses, nasal passages, pharynx and larynx. It can be caused by many different types of viruses and the body can never build up resistance to all of them.

Antibiotics do not cure or shorten the illness which can last from three days to a week. Symptoms include headache, body aches, sore throat, low temperature, sinus infection, coughing, runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing and watery eyes.

A cold can be spread through direct contact – if you sneeze or cough, tiny droplets of fluid containing the cold virus are launched into the air and can be breathed in by others. It can also be spread through indirect contact – if you sneeze onto a door handle and someone else touches the handle a few minutes later, they may catch the cold virus if they then touch their mouth or nose  

You only really need to see your doctor if:
  •     your symptoms persist for more than three weeks 
  •     you have a high temperature (fever) of 39°C (102.2°F) or above
  •     you cough up blood-stained phlegm (thick mucus)
  •     you feel chest pain
  •     you have breathing difficulties
  •     you experience severe swelling of your lymph nodes (glands) in your neck and/or armpits

Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies
    


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