- Colds are caused by viruses, and don’t usually require a doctor’s care. Once you have it, it must ‘run its course’.
- Symptoms of the common cold usually begin 2-3 days after infection with the virus and last from 2-14 days.
- They often include nasal congestion, sneezing, sore throat, and coughing.
- Individuals with colds should always sneeze or cough into a facial tissue, and promptly throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your upper arm, rather than your hand.
- To help your body fight a cold, rest in bed, drink plenty of fluids, and gargle with warm salt water. Try 2 teaspoons of honey to help reduce coughing and soothe your throat. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (not aspirin), decongestants, and cough suppressants may be used to help relieve symptoms.
Avoid touching the nose, mouth or eyes. Hand washing is the simplest and most effective way to keep from getting colds and flu and other illness, especially before eating or handling food. Lather with soap and wash hands and wrists thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
Health Promotion Service, Student Services, NUI Galway
With thanks to Health Promotion and Preventative Services, University of Arizona