• Cold
  • sniff
  • gripal infect

medical: rhinitis
English: Cold


The term common cold is rather colloquial and not strictly defined medically. Usually the symptoms of a cold include inflammation of the upper respiratory tract and / or throat with inflammatory swelling of the nasal mucous membranes and increased mucus and fluid production. Symptoms similar to coughs (bronchitis) as well as headaches, pain in the limbs, sore throats and fever can also occur.

Frequency of the common cold

The common cold is one of the most common diseases in humans. On average, a person catches a cold 3-4 times a year. The symptoms and the extent of the disease can differ in severity and duration. Children catch colds up to 15 times a year. A gender-specific difference in the incidence of the disease cannot be determined.

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Many different viruses can cause the common cold. Cold temperatures and freezing alone are not enough for an illness, but they do favor it. If the body is hypothermic, then the mucous membranes are less well supplied with blood and can offer less resistance to the pathogens. Common triggers of a cold are, for example, adenoviruses. The infection usually occurs via droplet infection (by sneezing, coughing or speaking). When the pathogens are inhaled, they reach the mucous membranes, from where they can attack the airways.

Symptoms such as a sore throat (Pharyngitis), Sniff (Rhinitis) or a cough occurs after about 5 to 8 days. Infections with rhinoviruses are also very common. These occur mainly in spring and late summer, so that every person is infected around 4 times a year. The transmission takes place from person to person either via droplet infection or via smear and contact infection. The transmission takes place either through direct body contact, such as when shaking hands (contact infection) or through touching objects that are contaminated with body secretions such as saliva (used tissues, door handles, etc.). The pathogens then usually get through the hands on the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth, which they attack. Other pathogens are parainfluenza, RS, or Coxsackieviruses.

Also read our topic: Causes of a cold


Viruses that cause the common cold can be transmitted both by the so-called droplet infection and by a smear infection. The viruses can be transmitted very quickly from one person to the other via droplets, in the form of breath through the air, and thus enter the body through inhalation. A smear infection would infect you with contaminated materials (e.g. used handkerchiefs, etc.). How quickly such an infection can occur and whether a pathogen has to be in contact with humans for a long time or not before an infection is triggered is not yet fully understood. It is assumed, however, that the time required for infection is determined by the pathogen and the subtype.

Once the virus has entered the body, it attaches to the body's own cells. Since the virus itself does not have mitochondria (Cell power plants) that can produce proteins, it relies on foreign cells to help the virus multiply. After attaching to the human cell, the virus injects its genetic material (nucleic acid) into the cell interior. The genetic material is then replicated by the human cell. Viruses multiply in the cell and then either the human cell disintegrates with the release of the many new viruses, or it is discharged if the cell wall is intact. In any case, however, the human cell is disturbed by the reproductive process in such a way that corresponding symptoms of disease appear. The newly created viruses immediately attack other body cells, which leads to a very rapidly progressing pyramid scheme in the human body.

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Risk of contagion

Colds are caused by viral pathogens and are usually highly contagious. It usually only takes one to two days from the infection to the onset of the first symptoms, in which the infected person can infect other people himself. The sick person is probably most contagious in the first two to three days the disease, with the risk of infection remaining for around a week. The elderly, children, and people with compromised immune systems can also be contagious for longer.

On the other hand, not everyone who comes into contact with the virus automatically develops symptoms. Viruses as disease triggers can, on the one hand, get from the mucous membranes of one person to the next through droplet infection, i.e. by sneezing, coughing or speaking, from where they attack the respiratory tract. The other possibility of pathogen transmission is smear and contact infection. The transmission takes place either through direct body contact such as when shaking hands (contact infection) or through touching objects contaminated with body secretions such as saliva (such as used handkerchiefs or door handles). In order to protect contact persons from infection, it is advisable to sneeze and cough into a handkerchief if possible so as not to spread the viruses in the room and to avoid physical contact such as shaking hands if possible. The most important hygiene measure is also regular hand washing.


The common cold usually manifests itself as a scratchy throat, but this usually doesn't last longer than two to three days. It can also be that there is also a feeling of cold and shivering. This is followed by the development of the nasal mucosal inflammation (Rhinitis) with runny nose and the urge to sneeze. The symptoms known as rhinitis then peak on the second day of the illness. After 4-5 days, headaches and body aches can occur, and in some cases a fever of up to 38.5 degrees Celsius is added.

Learn more about Fever with aching limbs.

Those affected often report a burning sensation in their nose.

What you might also be interested in in this regard: Scratchy throat

Most patients complain of exhaustion and fatigue after a few days with a full cold. Due to the inflammatory swelling of the nasal mucosa, depending on the severity of the inflammation, the ability to taste disappears, but this returns after the cold has subsided. The average duration of illness is about a week. In some cases there is a complicated course. This includes spreading to the sinuses with resulting sinusitis, spreading to the bronchi with bronchitis or spreading to the middle ear with resulting otitis media (Otitis media).

In extreme cases, if the sinus infection is not treated, sinus suppuration can develop, which then has to be treated surgically with drugs containing antibiotics or even in the case of a chronic course. Furthermore, pneumonia (Pneumonia) and inflammation of the larynx (laryngitis) represent further complicated but rare courses of a cold illness.

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A cold is usually a viral infection that only affects the lining of the airways.

Since the ear via the so-called ear trumpet, or also Tuba auditiva called, is in connection with the pharynx, inflammation of the nasal and pharyngeal mucous membrane can also affect the ear and its function.
The result is usually an increased feeling of pressure in the ear or the feeling that the ear is closed. Either the mucous membrane in the pharynx swells as part of a cold, so that the access to the middle ear, i.e. the eustachian tube, is also affected and the ventilation of the ear no longer works as usual.

As a result, the eardrum can no longer vibrate adequately and the transmission of noises is reduced. This is especially the case if you regularly have problems with tube ventilation anyway and are more prone to them. Or there is an otitis media due to a restricted outflow via the ear trumpet on the one hand and a bacterial superinfection on the other.
Often nasal drops can not only help prevent swelling of the nasal mucosa, but also the region in which the Tuba auditiva sits to minimize. Then the ear is no longer closed and both the eardrum and the drainage function normally again. If there is severe ear pain and the symptoms do not improve, a doctor should be consulted to clarify bacterial colonization and any antibiotic treatment.

Read more on this topic at: Earache with a cold

Symptom relief

Colds are viral diseases, which means that nothing can be done about their cause as there are no drugs against viruses. The body alone has to deal with and fight the intruders.

The symptoms of a cold, on the other hand, can very well be alleviated or completely suppressed.

Lots of sleep and rest will help the body fight the virus.

It is also important to support the self-healing of the body, many Vitamins to take in. Fresh fruit such as apples, oranges or tangerines are recommended. Tablets or food supplements with vitamin C or similar should be avoided. The body cannot process the artificially produced substances well and most of them are excreted again.

A widely known symptom of colds is nasal congestion. Nasal sprays with a decongestant effect help you to breathe freely again. These sprays should not be used for more than three days, otherwise there is a risk of addiction. Salt water, which is alternately drawn up through both nostrils, also ensures a clear nose. To do this, salt is simply mixed with warm water. Covering one nostril, dip the other nostril deep into the glass, and then pull up your nose.

The body's own fight against viruses

In contrast to bacterial infections, where antibiotics are used, drug treatment of the virus is only useful in very severe cases. In the vast majority of cases, only symptomatic therapy should be considered (see Therapy for the Common Cold). The fact that colds usually subside after a week is entirely due to the body's own immune system, which begins to work after the virus has penetrated the human body. The prerequisite is of course that the patient has an intact, fully functioning and not weakened immune system. The weaker an immune system, the more severe and longer the disease process.

After initial contact with the virus, the body begins to produce phagocytes and dendritic cells. These cells can recognize and identify foreign substances, including viruses. After the virus has been absorbed and broken down in the phagocytes, fragments of the viruses on the surface of the phagocytes are presented to the B and T lymphocytes. This activates these cells, which belong to the specific immune system. Some cells can kill the virus immediately, while others begin to form antibodies which then attach to the virus and are then eaten. After an infection, the antibodies and so-called memory cells are retained in the body to prevent re-infection. Since viruses can often change their outer shell, they outsmart the immune system. Viruses are therefore rarely immune to immunity. Is the immune system either through drugs that suppress the immune system, such as cortisone or e.g. weakened by stress, it can no longer work as efficiently.
The common cold then breaks out in most cases, the course of the disease is more severe and longer.

Find out more about the topic here: The viral cold.


Often the doctor can diagnose a cold by the Patient survey (History taking). The patient complains of a cold, constant runny nose, possibly a cough, headache, aching limbs, fatigue and fever. The beginning will tend to be gradual and will probably be indicated by the patient three to four days in advance. The doctor will then listen to the patient's lungs (Auscultation) to rule out inflammation of the lungs or bronchi by putting in the ears with a Otoscope looking to check for otitis media, shining a flashlight down the throat to detect inflammation of the tonsils, and patting the sinuses to rule out inflammation or suppuration in the area. In many cases, the doctor will determine a positive result. This then confirms the diagnosis of a cold.

The doctor should also consult the time of the onset of a cold. If one of the many patients comes to the practice and that at a cool and humid time of year, the diagnosis of a cold can be made faster than if a patient comes to the practice for the fourth time in a row with cold-like symptoms in midsummer. In this case, one must always suspect an immune deficiency or an immune system limitation due to a malignant disease (e.g. Plasmacytoma) consider. In the case of an uncomplicated course or a clear diagnosis of a cold, no further diagnostic measures are necessary and only suggest a re-presentation to the patient if the symptoms persist after 1-2 weeks.


If you have a cold, medication can be used to relieve symptoms.

In the vast majority of cases, a cold heals by itself out again. The symptoms usually subside after a few days. However, a feeling of exhaustion and fatigue can persist for several weeks. Doing antibiotic therapy hardly ever Sense as a cold usually from Viruses caused. Antibiotics would do more harm than good here. The common cold caused by viruses cannot be treated causally. It only remains to alleviate the symptoms that cause the most discomfort.

Acute runny nose can be treated with steam inhalation, for example. The nasal secretion is thus loosened and the mucous membrane swells, so that breathing is significantly easier. Decongestant nasal drops or sprays (active ingredient: Xylometazoline or Oxymetazoline) are used. These preparations should, however, be used a maximum of 2 times a day and not longer than a week, as they can damage the nasal mucous membrane and have a habituation effect, i.e. make you "addicted". Particular caution is required here with children. Sea salt drops or sprays for the nose, which do not cause habituation or damage to the mucous membrane, are more suitable.

Read more about general here Antiviral drugs.

Pastilles with lavender or Iceland moss help against sore throats. Alternatively, you can buy preparations in the pharmacy that contain lidocaine or benzocaine as local anesthetic agents. The only thing that helps against hoarseness is to protect your voice for a few days and to wear a scarf. The swollen vocal cords can only swell briefly after sucking ice cubes. For coughing, you can inhale with essential oils such as eucalyptus or peppermint or with sage.

Read our topic on this: Why is the voice often gone when I have a cold?

Strong-smelling substances are not recommended for small children or patients with sensitive airways (e.g. asthma sufferers). Expectorant plant substances such as eucalyptus or ivy can be used against a stubborn cough or synthetic active ingredients such as N-acetylcysteine ​​(ACC). The medication should not be taken immediately before going to bed, and during the day care should be taken to drink enough. Most expectorants, however, have an unpleasant side effect of irritating the gastric mucosa, which is why inhalation is initially more recommended due to its tolerance. Cough suppressants can help you sleep better at night, but on the other hand prevent the coughing up of the mucus and the pathogen that is in it. They should therefore be used with caution and preferably only after consulting a doctor.

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Home remedies for a cold

A cold is harmless to a person with a healthy immune system and is mild in the vast majority of cases. Only the typical symptoms such as runny nose, cough or sore throat can be very annoying. In most cases it is not necessary to see a doctor immediately if you have a common cold, as the doctor can only treat the virus infection symptomatically. A tried and tested home remedy for colds and congested bronchi is, for example, steam inhalation. Soothing chamomile and lavender teas as well as mild essential oils are particularly suitable for inhalation. Inhalation moisturizes the airways and thus restores their protective function and supports the cleaning function. The viscous secretion liquefies and can be coughed up or blown better. Inhalation can be used one to three times a day for about 5 to 20 minutes. A well-suited cold ointment for inhalation is the Wick Vaporub® cold ointment, which can be purchased in pharmacies without a prescription.

Nasal rinsing with isotonic saline solution has a similar effect. This can either be purchased at the pharmacy or made with normal table salt (approx. Two level teaspoons per liter of water) and introduced into the nose with a nasal douche (also available in pharmacies or drugstores). Sucking ice cubes is effective against hoarseness, at least in the short term, as it allows the irritated vocal cords to swell. Heavily boiled chamomile and lavender teas are also suitable for gargling (spit out the tea afterwards) because of their anti-inflammatory properties and can thus relieve sore throats. Cold baths with added menthol, eucalyptus or spruce needles can help against muscle pain in severe colds, as they promote blood circulation. The optimal bathing temperature is 38 ° C, bathing should not be longer than approx. 15 minutes. In the case of circulatory problems, hot baths are not recommended. If you have a cold, you should always ensure that you drink enough water. Cold teas with, for example, elderflower, sage, eucalyptus or peppermint are particularly suitable for this. Freshly cooked ginger tea is also said to accelerate healing. Hot water with fresh lemon and honey provides vitamin C and strengthens the immune system.

A common home remedy for coughs is onion syrup, which is made from the juice of chopped onions with sugar. The onions can also be used for earache, which often accompanies a cold. To do this, they are chopped up and wrapped in a thin linen cloth. The sick person places this onion bag warm or cold on the sore ear, depending on their condition. Potatoes are also mostly found in every household and can be used to combat a stubborn cold. Potato wraps help with sore throats through their warming effect. To do this, put some boiled potatoes in a cloth and crush them. The patient puts the cloth tightly around the neck and leaves it there until the beneficial warming effect subsides.

Read more on the topic: Home remedies for earache

Quark compresses have the opposite cooling effect and can have a soothing effect on tonsillitis, for example. Fever is a natural defense mechanism of the body and should not be suppressed at first. However, if the fever rises to approx. 38.5 ° C, it can be pleasant for the person concerned to lower the body temperature a little. For example, moist calf wraps are suitable for this, whereby cool, moist linen towels are wrapped around the lower legs. Wrapped in a towel, the legs can be relaxed and put up until the towel has warmed up to body heat, the process can be repeated up to three times.

How can you prevent a cold?

Against a cold (gripal infect) exists in contrast to the flu (Influenza) no Vaccination. To prevent catching a cold, there are other ways to strengthen the body's immune system. A strong immune system fights the cause of a cold, usually viruses, when it comes into contact with these pathogens, more effectively than a weakened immune system and thus makes an illness less likely. In addition to regular physical activity and a reduction in stress, which certainly generally works to prevent disease, this also includes a balanced diet. Especially vitamins and Mineralsthat are found in all fresh foods are important here. Fruit and vegetables should therefore be on the menu in sufficient quantities, especially in the cold season. Those who eat a balanced diet generally do not need any food supplements. If this does not always succeed, vitamin C and Zinc supplements can be used, which are available to the body in depot form over a longer period of time and should help it to fight against an impending cold.

Just as important as a balanced diet is much liquid to take in. In this way the mucous membranes are kept moist and can maintain their barrier function against pathogens. Water and unsweetened teas are particularly suitable. In particular, ginger, elderberry and linden blossom are said to have a stimulating effect on the immune system. Another tip to stimulate the immune system are hot and cold alternating showers. Regular walks in the fresh air are also advisable to get the body used to the cool temperatures. Of course, you should pay attention to suitably warm clothing and you should not go outside with wet hair freshly showered.

Dry heating air, on the other hand, should be avoided; regular brief ventilation is an advantage here. A draft should be avoided at all costs. Visiting the sauna or regular warming foot baths can also help prevent a cold. A tip that is as obvious as it is effective is to stay as far away as possible from pathogens, which are mostly viruses. These can be transmitted either via droplet infection, i.e. by speaking, coughing or sneezing, or via smear and contact infection, i.e. mainly via the hands or contaminated objects such as handkerchiefs or door handles. For example, it is advisable to wear gloves outside and to wash your hands thoroughly on a regular basis. Frequent places of infection are those where people come close to one another, such as on public transport. If possible, it is advisable to take a walk in the fresh air instead of taking the overcrowded buses and trains.


In the vast majority of cases, colds heal with or without treatment after a few days (maximum 1-2 weeks) without consequences. It should be noted that medication only relieves symptoms such as headaches or fever, but does not accelerate the recovery process. In some cases a superinfection must be expected, which as a bacterial infection settles on the viral infection and accordingly prolongs the recovery process. In this case, the use of antibiotic therapy must also be considered. If the patient has no previous immune-weakening illnesses, the prognosis for a cold is very good, even with bacterial superinfection.

Read more about the topic here: Course of a cold.

Duration of a cold

The duration of a cold varies widely and depends on many factors.

As a rule of thumb, however, one can say that every cold usually lasts one to two weeks, and that usually regardless of whether measures are taken to treat symptoms of a cold or not.
One factor that makes a cold prolong is the physical and general state of health that prevails at the time of the illness. If the immune system is restricted and weakened in its possibilities by a serious underlying disease or an immunosuppressive therapy, it may be that the body takes a little longer to fight a cold than if one fell ill out of pure health. This is also called a chronic cold.

The duration can also be extended for very old people or premature babies, because here either the immune defense has already broken down so slowly or is still in the learning process. A bacterial superinfection, for example of the tonsils or the paranasal sinuses, can also increase the duration. However, the duration of the cold itself is not influenced here, but the symptoms of the infection extend the duration of the illness itself.

Of course, a cold lasts longer, if only slightly, if you don't allow yourself to rest and don't drink enough fluids. A big difference between the treatment and the duration of a viral and a bacterial infection is that the use of drugs that are specifically effective against the pathogen do not bring about an immediate improvement in the viral infection and also no shortening of the duration.

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Treating a cold with antivirals is therefore not the rule, also because these drugs are more likely to be used for treating flu. The only remedies that are beneficial are medications for the symptoms of the common cold, such as cough syrup, nasal drops, and pain relievers for headaches.

So after a short time an improvement in the state of mind can be noted and this in turn has a positive effect on the duration of the cold. A lot of sleep and a lot of drinking also have a beneficial effect on the duration of the illness, as the immune defense can fully concentrate on fighting the viral infection. Even if you still have mild symptoms of a cold after more than two weeks, this is not a cause for concern. The exception is the case that the symptoms have got worse and worse, the general condition is increasingly reduced and there is a high fever. Then a doctor should be consulted for clarification.

Read more on this topic at: Duration of a cold

Visiting the sauna during a cold - is that possible?

If you have a fever you shouldn't go to the sauna.

Some studies want to show that regular sauna-goers are less likely to get colds than other people. The principle is that the high temperatures during the sauna stimulate the blood circulation in the mucous membranes and thus protect them more effectively against pathogens with their immune cells. The alternating hot sauna bath followed by rapid cooling should serve as heat regulation training so that the body can adjust to changing temperatures more easily. The blood vessels in the skin should be trained to reduce heat loss in a cool environment and to make it more difficult for pathogens to penetrate.

However, the sauna bath is only effective if it is used regularly (i.e. once or twice a week) and experienced as relaxation. A sauna bath should not last longer than 15 minutes and then the body should be cooled down briefly (e.g. under a cold shower), but not cool down. Whether you can “sweat out” an already existing cold by visiting the sauna is rather questionable. Especially when the cold has progressed, the sauna puts too much strain on the cardiovascular system and can make symptoms such as fatigue and weakness worse. Even with a fever, a visit to the sauna will hardly be experienced as pleasant and relaxing.

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Exercise during a cold

How much exercise and exertion are recommended when you have a cold clearly depends on the severity of the illness and, above all, on the subjective perception of the sick person. If you have a harmless cold without symptoms such as cough or sore throat and without feeling sick, it is certainly not harmful to continue with moderate training. They are especially suitable for this Outdoor sports how Cycle or Nordic walking, in which the body is not challenged to the limit. Breathable, sufficiently warm clothing is important here.

If you feel increasingly ill or your symptoms worsen after exercise, this is a sign that you should pause your training for a few days. If you have symptoms such as cough, sore throat, fatigue or a real feeling of illness, you should definitely refrain from exercising until the symptoms subside. An infection is a stressful situation for the immune system and the entire body. If physical training is added as an additional burden, the body cannot concentrate on fighting the pathogens and the course of the disease is negatively influenced. The flushing out of the pathogens can go as far as inflammation of the heart muscle (Myocarditis), a potentially life-threatening inflammation that can initially only manifest itself through unspecific symptoms such as fatigue and fever. If you have a cold with a fever, you should refrain from any physical exertion in any case, as the increased body temperature is always a sign that the body is fighting an infection with great effort and needs its strength for this. In this case, you should avoid physical exertion and any strain for at least a week.

  • Exercise during a cold
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Peculiarities of a cold in pregnancy

Even during pregnancy, women are not spared a cold, because the immune system can be weakened by this physical stress factor and thus more susceptible to viral infections.

However, this cold does not normally pose a threat to the child in the womb. The course of the cold is also usually harmless. As usual, the symptoms of the common cold are mainly restricted to the respiratory tract and can be accompanied by headaches and fatigue.
How severe, for example, a blocked nose, cough and sore throat are pronounced varies from person to person.
However, a cold usually never lasts longer than one to two weeks. In the case of a cold during pregnancy, it is important, on the one hand, that there should not be a fever over 38.5 ° C. If the fever does occur, a doctor should be consulted and appropriate treatment should be initiated.
On the other hand, it should be ruled out that there is no flu or other viral infection.

If symptoms occur that do not match a typical cold, such as diarrhea, vomiting, rash or the like, a doctor should also be consulted for clarification.
There are also a few things to consider when treating the common cold, because many medications cannot be used during pregnancy due to their side effects. Therefore, alternative means of treating the symptoms of a cold should be resorted to. Instead of a cough syrup from the pharmacy, you can make your own onion syrup from chopped onions and rock candy, which also has an expectorant effect and has no influence on the child.
If you have a sore throat, sage tea is always recommended to gargle or simply to drink, as this has a mild and beneficial effect on the mucous membranes. To decongest the nasal mucosa, instead of a decongestant nasal spray, saline solution can be used or inhaled over hot chamomile tea. Both are in turn safe for the child.

However, caution should be exercised when using essential oils, which are contained in many products and which should be avoided during pregnancy. For headaches, paracetamol can also be taken in small amounts and with low frequency after consultation with a doctor. Otherwise, as with any cold, rest, lots of sleep and plenty of drinking are very beneficial for healing. Walks in the fresh air also stimulate the circulation and the recovery of the airways.

Thus, a cold during pregnancy is a surmountable and unproblematic obstacle.

Also read: Cold in pregnancy and Fever during pregnancy

Cold in the baby

A baby can also be affected by a cold, because in the first few weeks and months of life the immune system is confronted with a number of stress factors and must first learn to deal with them.
As in adults, viruses are in most cases the cause of this cold in babies. The respiratory tract and especially the nose are particularly affected by the viral infection.
A cold in a baby is usually harmless and takes about one to two weeks to clear up on its own. A fever may occur as a reaction to the viral infection, which should be observed.

Normally, the administration of antipyretic agents, which are specially designed for babies, is sufficient. If in doubt, the treatment can be discussed with the pediatrician. What could lead to problems in the course of the disease is a blocked nose due to the cold, because when the baby is drinking the milk, the baby can no longer get enough air and therefore refuses to eat. Decongestant nasal drops or saline solution provide a remedy here, as they clear the nose again and so that the baby's food and fluid intake functions normally again.

Further signs of a cold are a runny nose, whiny or restless behavior and fatigue. In addition to drug therapy to treat the symptoms, rest, lots of sleep and plenty of drinking are suitable measures to help a cold heal.


Colds, or flu-like infections, are among the most common diseases. 11% of all patients coming to the general practice complain of cold-like symptoms. In the course of a year, each person gets an average of 3-4 colds. Children are affected far more often and catch a cold 11-13 times. The flu infection is almost exclusively caused by viruses. The viruses are assigned to different virus families, which in turn have numerous subtypes. To be mentioned are: Rhinoviruses, Coxsackieviruses, coronaviruses, parainfluenza virus and Adenoviruses. Viruses can survive for a particularly long time, especially in a moist environment. Infection occurs through airborne droplets and smear infections through contaminated material (e.g. handkerchiefs, etc.).

After ingestion, the virus attaches itself to the body's own cells, injects its genetic material and stimulates the cell to reproduce the virus genome. This is then either released into the body through appropriate cell dissolution or transported to the outside through the intact cell wall. The many new viruses resulting from this process continue to infect body cells immediately. This creates a pyramid scheme. The initial symptoms of a flu-like infection are usually expressed as a sore throat, runny nose, hot flashes and a slightly elevated temperature. It can also lead to headache and body aches and cough with sputum. A flu-like infection is usually a diagnosis made by the doctor through the patient survey (anamnese) represents. For completeness, he will listen to the patient's lungs with a stethoscope (to rule out bronchitis), look into the throat (to rule out involvement of the throat and tonsils), look into the ears (to rule out otitis media) and tap the sinuses (to rule out otitis media) rule out a sinus infection). Further diagnostic measures can usually be dispensed with in the case of colds.

In some cases, a so-called bacterial superinfection is added to the viral infection, which should then be treated as a complicated course with drugs containing antibiotics. Other complications of a flu-like infection are bronchitis (when the lungs are affected), otitis media (when the middle ear is infected), sinusitis or, in severe cases, sinus suppuration or Laryngitis In these cases, antibiotic therapy should always be used. If the course of a cold is uncomplicated, the therapy usually only includes symptomatic measures, which consist of relieving the headache and lowering the fever. Here should preparations such as Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or ASS 100 are used. Furthermore, you should ensure that you drink enough fluids per day, which should consist of 2-3 liters of water and tea. The patient should ensure a calm daily routine and inhale steam baths made of chamomile or salt as well as red light irradiation of the paranasal sinuses several times a day.

Also numerous substances from the Naturopathy, such as. the South African Cape Pelargonium, the Sun hat, chamomile or sage, of the thyme, the ivy, the Cowslip or the mallow are used in the treatment of colds in the form of teas or drops. It should not be forgotten, however, that many Medicinal plants in their pure form are inedible and even toxic to humans. For this reason, preparations from the pharmacy should be used. Corresponding interactions between medicinal plants and additional conventional medicinal drugs should not be underestimated or taken into account. Home remedies that have long been established, such as drinking chicken soup or eating vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables are also used again and again in the treatment of colds. The mechanism of action is often not known, but the effect has been confirmed by the users.

The common belief that colds are caused by moisture or cold (wet feet, wet head) could not be confirmed by many studies. Only a strong hypothermia and thus throttling of the immune system could be shown as a favorable factor. The flu-like infection must be separated from the flu which is caused by the influenza virus. This changes its external appearance every season and has to be identified again and again so that a corresponding vaccine (see also: vaccination) can be found. Due to the large number of possible pathogens and the corresponding variability, there is no vaccination option against a flu-like infection. In general, one can say that the flu-like infection is more harmless and faster than the (Influenza) Influenza, which is characterized by sudden onset, severe headache and body aches, high fever, violent dry cough and poor general condition. As a rule, the flu infection heals without any consequences within a few days to a maximum of 2 weeks. Antibiotic therapy must be started at an early stage in patients with concomitant diseases that suppress the immune system in order to avoid bacterial superinfection. These patients include HIV patients, people with diabetes mellitus, and patients on chemotherapy drugs.

In addition to a generally healthy diet and lifestyle with sufficient exercise and sport, a vitamin-rich, high-fiber diet and everyday stress reduction, the only thing that should be mentioned in the prevention of a cold is avoiding contact with an already infected person. Hygienic measures such as hand washing should also be observed after contact. Otherwise, it must be stated that the occurrence of colds cannot be ruled out despite appropriate preventive measures and must be accepted to a certain extent. Common colds that occur unnaturally should be carefully observed and the suspicion of an accompanying illness (possibly malignant tumor disease or other diseases that suppress the immune system) should arise.

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