Common Cold

The common cold, an infectious viral disease of the upper respiratory system, is probably one of the most common human diseases and children often pick it up from classmates. Colds are a common precursor of middle-ear infections in children as their Eustachian tubes are more susceptible to becoming blocked, resulting in a gradual bacterial infection.

Symptoms: A cold generally involves a runny nose, nasal congestion and coughing. Other symptoms include a sore throat, headache and lethargy.

Treatment: treatment is largely symptomatic. Analgesics such as paracetamol and similar lozenges may be taken to soothe pain. Cough suppressants and anti-histamines, which help to reduce mucus, may also be prescribed.

Prevention: The best way to avoid a cold is to avoid close contact with existing sufferers. Using alcohol-based hand gels and disinfecting doorknobs, can also help reduce infections.

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