Cold

Frequent colds or flu-like infections (not flu) are infections of the upper respiratory tract caused by viruses. Typical symptoms include a runny nose, inflammation of the throat/mucous membranes, coughing, combined with headaches and an increased temperature.

Overview

Frequent colds or flu-like infections (not flu) are infections of the upper respiratory tract caused by viruses. Typical symptoms include a runny nose, inflammation of the throat/mucous membranes, coughing, combined with headaches and an increased temperature. Colds usually occur in late autumn, winter and early spring. Drinking plenty of fluids (tea, milk with honey, etc.), nasal irrigation and gargling can provide symptom relief.

Symptoms

Complications

Causes and treatment

Cause

  • Viral infection transmitted by droplets (talking, sneezing, coughing)
  • Immune system weakened by lack of sleep, stress, overheated rooms, previous illness

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Physical examination is usually sufficient
Possible therapies
  • Fever-reducing medication and painkillers (paracetamol, ibuprofen)
  • Mucus-loosening medication (mucolytics)
  • Antibiotics are usually not recommended

What can I do myself?

  • Rest your body, bed rest if necessary
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Throw paper tissues away after use
  • Sneeze, cough into the crook of your elbow
  • Drink plenty of fluids (water, fruit juice, tea)
  • Anti-swelling nasal sprays (max. 5 days)
  • Disinfecting mouthwash and gargles
  • Household remedies
  • Boost your immune system: get enough sleep, avoid stress, take echinacea preparations (effect is disputed)
  • Be careful in using essential oils and honey for infants (allergy, shortness of breath)

When to see a doctor?

Synonyms

cold, flu-like infection

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Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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