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Common Cold FAQs for Patients

During the winter and springtime, many patients are likely to suffer from a common cold. As mentioned on our previous urgent care blog, common colds effect the majority of patients in all age groups. Even when patients try their best to prevent a cold, it is more likely than naught the disease will cause a mild infection.

Below, the team at AFC Urgent Care West Long Branch will dive into some of the frequently asked questions about seasonal common colds. By referencing leading healthcare organizations such as the Mayo Clinic, we’ve answered your most frequent questions about colds and seasonal illnesses!

What causes a common cold?

A common cold is normally caused by a rhinovirus, which is a general viral infection via the upper respiratory system. A rhinovirus can’t be vaccinated against, which means that preventing a common cold is the best way to avoid a cold altogether.

The common cold usually spreads in public and shared spaces, like schools and offices, where people quick spread the virus. Most direct contact with peers, unwashed hands, and lack of hygiene are the root causes of the common cold.

How to prevent a cold

Preventing a cold is a relatively straightforward process, but it is always important to go through some of the most effective prevention strategies to stay healthy. Here are just a few ways you can minimize your risk of a common cold:

  • Wash your hands as frequently as possible. Germs on your hand that then touch your mouth, nose, etc. are the most likely to cause a cold. Washing with warm water helps to reduce these germs.
  • Avoid contact with sick people. Infected or sick individuals can quickly spread the virus by sneezing, coughing, or through direct contact. When possible, minimize your exposure to individuals that may have a cold.
  • Use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is a great way to reduce infectious germ on your hands if you can’t wash your hands right away. Find leading brand sanitizer that can effectively kill these germs.
  • Maintain a clean household. Your household and personal spaces can breed infectious germs and microbes if you don’t frequently clean. Makes sure to disinfect your countertops, surfaces, and elsewhere in your home to avoid a cold.

Symptoms and Urgent Care Treatment

Common cold symptoms can last for 7-10 days if you have an infection. If you have the following symptoms (a mix of at least two/three) that last for more than a few days, then it is likely you have a common cold:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Congestion
  • Fatigue

When you have symptoms find an urgent care center to help quickly alleviate an irritating cold! Provider teams are skilled in getting the treatment you need quickly and efficiently!