A cold is a virus-induced (viral) infection of the mucous membranes in the nose, throat and respiratory tract. Colds (rhinitis), cough, throat and limb pain - colds or flu infections - are quite annoying, but usually quite harmless (not to be confused with the "real" flu / influenza).
Infants more often catch colds than adults
Increasingly you "catch cold" in the wet and cold seasons, such as in spring, autumn or winter. Here, it is easier for the viruses to "attack", since the body's immune system is running at full speed during this time and is usually too weak to offer pathogens to fight. Statistically, adults catch colds two to three times a year, toddlers six to ten times.
Causes and risk factors
Why someone smiles more easily at one time than another does not make it clear:
- Freezing alone does not necessarily lead to a cold or makes you susceptible to respiratory tract viral infection. However, in a supercooled body, the mucous membranes are less perfused. Thus, the "outer barrier" of our defense system for the pathogens is more permeable.
- People are more susceptible to infection, their immune system less powerful when they are tired or unhappy.
- The same is true for women in the cycle middle.
Meanwhile, more than 200 different viruses are known, which exploit the short immune deficiency to the infection of the body in a hypothermia. The rhinoviruses cause most spring, summer and autumn colds. About infected droplets that are coughed or sneezed in the air or through direct contact, for example when shaking hands, the viruses easily spread from person to person.
Vaccinate against cold?
A vaccine against the multitude of germs is currently not available. In the case of a cold, only the symptoms are treated with appropriate means to relieve the symptoms.
Cold: Usually not dangerous
The common cold is the most common disease ever. Every adult suffers an average of twice a year and every preschool child at least six times a year. It is favored by unprepared cooling and immune-compromising stress situations and triggered by viruses.
As a rule, a cold illness heals spontaneously after seven to ten days. In rare cases, it can lead to complications such as bacterial-purulent secondary infections and / or cardiovascular weakness.