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9 Surprising Facts About Common Cold You Never Knew!

By Chandana Rao

Most of us would have experienced a common cold at least a few times in our lives, right?
Common cold is one of the most prevalent conditions among people of every age and gender around the globe and it holds true to its name by being extremely 'common'!

This condition affects children more than the adults because the immune system of children is comparatively weaker. However, it can also affect adults whose immune systems are weak.

Common cold is a symptom of a bacterial or viral infection, which affects the body, and it is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, cough, headache, chills, etc.

Usually, when affected by a common cold, it takes a longer period of time to heal compared to the other symptoms like fever, headaches, etc.

When affected by common cold, daily activities can become slightly difficult, as its symptoms can make a person experience discomfort.

The symptoms of common cold are headache, runny nose, difficulty in breathing, itchy nose, headaches, blocked nose, fatigue, etc.

So, here are a few interesting facts on common cold that you did not know.

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Fact #1: Adults Get Affected 2-5 Times/Year By Common Cold

Statistics and research studies conducted on the number of people being affected by common cold indicate that usually adults suffer from common cold 2-5 times a year, whereas children below the age of 12 are usually affected by common cold about 6-10 times a year, on an average! Like we read earlier, the immune systems of children are relatively weaker, and hence they are affected by this condition often.

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Fact #2: People Aged 60 Years Or Older Could Experience Common Cold Often

Just like how children below the age of 12 are affected by instances of common cold more, similarly, aged people, 60 years or older, could also start to experience common cold more often, as a person's immune system begins to deteriorate after the age of 60. So, it is important to take measures to keep your immune system healthier for a longer time.

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Fact #3: Rhinovirus – The Virus Responsible For Causing Common Cold

The virus that is responsible for causing common cold is called the ‘rhinovirus'. These viruses have existed on the earth since times immemorial and they have even been mentioned in ancient Egyptian medical scriptures. The ‘rhinovirus' is known to have the ability to survive in most extreme weather and geographical conditions, which is why they have survived for so long and take a long time to die inside the human body!

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Fact #4: Rhinovirus Is Capable Of Surviving Outside A Human Body For 48 Hours!

The ‘rhinovirus' is so strong that it can survive outside a living organism for up to 48 hours, that is two days! So, when a person touches a surface on which the cold virus has been surviving, there are high chances that they can catch a cold soon. The rhinovirus can survive on surfaces such as computer keyboards, phones, kitchen counters, elevator buttons, light switches, shopping mall carts, toilet tissue rolls, etc.

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Fact #5: Common Cold Could Turn To Other Health Conditions Like Pneumonia In Children And The Aged

Usually, common cold is not a life-threatening condition and is one of the most minor conditions which goes away on its own. So, people do not worry much when affected by common cold. However, in rare instances, especially in children and ageing people, common cold can turn into other health complications like pneumonia and other respiratory disorders, which could be life-threatening.

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Fact #6: Vitamin C Could Help Keep Common Cold At Bay

It is a common belief that consuming vitamin C pills while being affected by cold is the best way to get rid of the cold virus and treat the condition. However, research studies have proved that consuming vitamin C while you have a cold, may not help much. However, consuming vitamin C at other times, regularly, can strengthen your immune system and prevent frequent common colds.

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Fact #7: Common Cold Is Not Spread Through Saliva Or Genital Fluids

Many couples avoid kissing or making love when one partner is affected by common cold because they think that the virus can be spread to the other person while kissing. However, research studies show that the chances of cold viruses being transferred through the saliva and genital fluids, during an intercourse, is very low and usually, cold is spread through air and water. However, certain strains of the cold virus can be spread through skin to skin contact as well.

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Fact #8: A Common Cold Sneeze Could Release Up To 1 Lakh Germs Into The Air!

A single sneeze from a person infected with common cold can release up to a 1,00,000 germs into the air! And some of these germs could be contagious and when a healthy person breathes in the same air, while he/she is at a close proximity to the infected person, then they too can get affected by the condition.

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Fact #9: Washing Hands Prior To Eating Food Can Prevent A Common Cold

According to experts, one of the most effective ways to prevent a common cold, apart from keeping your immune system healthy, is to wash your hands frequently, especially, before eating. Our hands constantly come in contact with surfaces which have cold viruses and washing them off can prevent this condition.

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    Story first published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 20:00 [IST]
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