The flu has been a major seasonal concern for many years, and with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic nearly two years ago, you may be wondering where common colds have gone. The truth is… they haven’t really gone anywhere. Separate from RSV, Influenza, and COVID-19, there are many viruses that circulate and cause symptoms we associate with colds. Most commonly a group called rhinoviruses are to blame for our scratchy throat, runny nose, cough, and mild head and body aches. Here are some facts from the CDC to refresh your memory on the Common Cold!
Fact: Antibiotics will not help you recover from a cold virus. In fact, if you take antibiotics when you have a cold virus, your body may have a harder time fighting bacterial infections later on.
Fact: Infections from colds (like sinus infections and ear infections) do not warrant antibiotics. It’s easy to think infection = antibiotic, but really, viral infections do not need them. It is however important to manage your symptoms as advised by your care provider.
Fact: You should see a care provider for what you think is a cold. While your illness may in fact be ‘just a cold’, it could also be something more serious like the flu, which is treatable! If your cold seems mild and you stick it out at home without seeing a care provider, if it lasts longer than 7-10 days, it may be time to get checked out to be on the safe side. Even though antibiotics may not be in order, colds can still trigger asthma attacks and other serious complications if the symptoms are left unmanaged or improperly managed at home.
Fact: You can get a cold at any time of the year, but they are more common during the winter and early spring months.
Fact: Cold viruses spread the same way as the viruses we often associate with scary complications such as the flu and COVID-19. To prevent colds or cold complications wash your hands regularly, keep your distance from sick people, and take care of your health through diet and exercise.
Fact: Most adults average 2 or 3 cold a year, and children often have more than that. According to the CDC, colds are still the most common reason for adults missing work and children missing school in the United States
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