Does a low temperature cause a cold?

Does a low temperature cause a cold?

The link with the cold, however, exists: as temperatures drop, the activity of our immune system decreases and we are more exposed to the action of viruses.

What are the causes of a cold?

The cold is a viral pathology that affects the first respiratory tract, especially the nose and throat, caused by more than 200 different viruses, the most common being rhinoviruses, and which is transmitted by contact with a person with a cold.

The infection is mainly transmitted by the airborne route; the virus is transmitted through small droplets of nasal discharge or saliva emitted when coughing and sneezing or speaking.

Many cold viruses resist up to 18 hours outside an organism, so an environment can remain infected for a long time; however, on average, a person with a cold is most contagious in the first three days that they develop symptoms.

They are at higher risk of catching a cold:

  • children under the age of six, especially if they attend nurseries and kindergartens;
  • people with a weak immune system, for example due to chronic disease or even a mild immune system deficiency;
  • People who smoke.

What are the symptoms of a cold?

Cold symptoms usually occur a few days after infection.

Among the most common are

  • nasal airway obstruction
  • throat pain;
  • sneezing;
  • presence of mucus;
  • cough;
  • hoarsely;
  • Feeling unwell;
  • fatigue.

In some cases, symptoms can include fever, headache and muscle pain, decreased or loss of smell and taste.

Eye and ear irritation is not uncommon.

This picture of symptoms tends to be most intense in the first two or three days, then fades and completely resolves within 7-10 days.

The cough may persist for two to three weeks.

In children under five years of age, cold-related discomfort can persist for up to 14 days.

Influenza and colds have similar symptoms, however, there are some differences.

First of all, they are caused by different viral agents that can cause nasal symptoms associated with headache and fever in both cases, and in the case of the flu, also generalized symptoms such as muscle aches and asthenia so intense that they can make normal activities difficult.

cold complications

A cold usually resolves on its own with no particular side effects.

Sometimes, however, the infection can spread to the lower respiratory tract, ears, or sinuses and cause complications, such as:

  • sinusitis due to bacterial superinfection with the characteristic presence of yellow-green discharge, lasting more than 10 days and also associated with facial pain
  • otitis media: particularly common in children under five years of age, it is an infection of the middle ear whose symptoms include ear pain, high fever above 38°C and decreased hearing;
  • lower respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia with a persistent cough and shortness of breath.

Colds: Higher Risk Indoors

During the colder months, it is important to be careful about the quality of the air you breathe.

People often spend a lot of time in closed spaces, in rooms shared with other people, and this increases the risk of contracting respiratory diseases.

In fact, the cold air that enters from the outside is less harmful to the health of the respiratory tract than the stale air inside.

Adenoviruses and rhinoviruses, which need temperatures lower than those inside the human body (between 36 and 37°C) to reproduce, are spread through the air and can survive outside the human body for up to 18 hours.

To prevent contagion, it is important to wash your hands frequently and wear a mask in especially crowded places, such as public transport.

How is it cured?

Colds usually resolve on their own in 5-10 days, so it is possible to manage the symptoms yourself, resorting if necessary to medications such as pain relievers and antipyretics to reduce fever when present and decongestants to reduce nasal obstruction.

As it is caused by a virus and not by bacteria, antibiotics have no effect on colds, but are essential in cases of complications with bacterial superinfection.

Rest and isolation are the best ways to help the body heal, preventing the virus from affecting other people.

Therefore, people with colds should work from home, ventilate their rooms frequently, avoid crowded places such as public transportation, cough and sneeze into the elbow joints, and if necessary go out, wear a mask to cover the nose and mouth. .

Also read:

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Plaques in the throat: how to recognize them

Tonsillitis: Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

Sore throat: How to diagnose strep throat?

Sore throat: when is it caused by streptococcus?

Pharyngotonsillitis: Symptoms And Diagnosis

The Post Covid Era: Flu, How Long Do Symptoms Last?

Eczema or cold dermatitis: here’s what to do

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