1. Common cold is a benign self–limiting syndrome caused by several viruses.
  2. It is one of the most frequent acute illnesses.
  3. The term ‘common cold’ refers to a mild upper respiratory viral illness presenting with sneezing, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, low grade fever, headache and malaise.
  4. Common cold is not the same as influenza or common sore throat, which can also involve the heart.
  5. Common cold affects a pre–school child 5–7 times in a year and adult 2–3 times in a year.
  6. It can spread by direct contact with the infected person or by indirect contact with a contaminated environmental surface.
  7. It can also spread by small particle droplets that become airborne from sneezing or coughing.
  8. It can also be transmitted via large particle droplets that typically require close contact with infected person.
  9. Most important is hand to hand transmission of the virus.
  10. Infection can also spread through circulating air in commercial airline passenger cabins.
  11. Saliva does not spread any cold.
  12. The disease is most infectious on the 2nd and 3rd day of illness.
  13. However, a person may be infectious for up to two weeks.
  14. Normal cold may last for 8–10 days.
  15. The diagnosis is based on clinical findings.
  16. Common cold can exacerbate asthma in susceptible individuals.