The common cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract, which includes the nose, mouth, throat and lungs. Symptoms include a runny nose, cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, sneezing and sometimes a fever. Viruses that cause colds can spread from infected people to other people via the air and close contact. Typically, a cold lasts seven to 10 days and the average adult experiences two to three of them every year.
Scientists are hard at work trying to develop a vaccine or antiviral drug for the common cold. In the meantime, there are a few measures you can take to help avoid a cold or the flu. If you catch a cold, you don’t have to be miserable. Along with plenty of rest and fluids, a wide variety of over the counter medications can help temporarily relieve the symptoms of a cold.
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