Cold: symptoms, prevention, treatment and remedies


What is a cold?

The cold is a disease caused by viruses that affects the airways. Among the most common symptoms are coughing , sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion. The treatment basically consists of rest, fluid intake and good nutrition.

According to a survey by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the cold is the major cause of issuing medical certificates. According to the survey, carried out in 2013, 17.8% of the absences that year were caused by common colds.

Among children and adolescents up to 17 years old, this percentage jumped to 39.6% of sick leave due to medical certificate. No wonder: a child can have up to 12 colds a year, against an average of 2 to 4 in an adult.

In addition to children, other easy victims for frequent colds are smokers, professionals who have direct contact with the public and people with low immunity and / or deficiencies in the immune system.

Despite the uncomfortable symptoms, the cold is not considered a serious disease, and rarely causes complications. Most patients do not even need medication to recover.

It is likely that there may soon be an absolute cure for colds. Researchers at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland are working on a treatment that can improve the immune system’s response to infections by rhinovirus, one of the causative agents of the cold.

Types of viruses that cause a cold

The common cold can be caused by more than 200 types of viruses . That’s why we get colds so many times in our lives – there are many possibilities for us to get some viral variation that causes the disease.

The Rhinovirus is the causative agent of most colds. Its name comes from the Greek, in which the word ” rhino ” means ” nose “, and it is very suggestive: infection with this type of virus happens through the respiratory tract, and usually multiplies rapidly in the nasal mucosa.

The absorption of rhinovirus is extremely fast and happens, on average, after fifteen minutes. The first symptoms usually appear after two days.

In addition to rhinovirus, other viral agents are more often responsible for common colds. Are they:


Adenoviruses are usually asymptomatic in adults who have healthy immune systems. The biggest victims of colds caused by this virus are children.

One of its main characteristics when it manifests itself through colds is the discomfort in the throat, which usually gets very inflamed.


Although some types of Coronavirus can cause more severe respiratory infections, this viral family is best known for causing short-term common colds.

The incubation period for this type of virus is 2 to 14 days, which means that you can develop colds up to 2 weeks after contacting the Coronavirus.

What is the difference between cold and flu?

You may not know this, but flu and cold are different diseases, caused by different viruses.

It is normal to confuse flu and cold, as the symptoms of the two diseases are very similar, in addition to both being highly contagious and sharing the same forms of transmission.

Among the symptoms that are common to both diseases are manifestations such as runny nose, coughing and sneezing.

The main differences between flu and cold are:


The flu is a stronger and more serious disease than the common cold, caused by the family of Influenza viruses . So it usually lasts longer – while the cold does not usually last for more than 5 days, the flu can bother you for a period of 7 to 10 days.


The main difference between the two diseases is fever , which, in cases of flu, is usually high, exceeding 38.5ºC. Those who suffer from a cold, on the other hand, rarely have a fever, and when they do, it is usually low, around 37ºC.


The pain in flu cases is more severe, and usually affects the muscles (the famous “body pain”), head (which can throb and feel “heavy”), eyes and throat.

In the cold, the pain in the muscles, head and throat is moderate and doesn’t bother me that much. In general, there is no pain in the eyes.


Complications of the common cold are rare and, when they happen, they usually reach the ears and throat. Flu that is not treated properly can have more serious consequences, such as pneumonia , for example.


The common cold is a disease caused by viral infection, which, in turn, can be caused by a spectrum of about 250 types of virus.


The viruses responsible for the cold enter the body through three channels: eyes, nose and mouth.

The transmission of cold occurs through direct contact with the viruses that cause the disease. This process can occur in a few ways:

Person-to-person transmission

You will be exposed to the virus whenever you have contact that involves droplets of saliva with a person with a cold.

This means that there is a possibility of transmission of the virus whenever the person with the cold coughs, sneezes, kisses you or speaks near you.

Transmission through objects

Cold-related viruses can survive for minutes, hours or even a few days outside the human body, depending on the surface they are on.

Whenever a cold person coughs or sneezes at an object, or puts his hands in a certain place after coming into contact with his own saliva, he leaves viral material there.

Then, when another person picks up the object and then brings his hands to his eyes, nose or mouth, without washing them, he can be contaminated by the virus.

Transmission by air

Viruses that cause colds also circulate through the air. That is why it is important to keep the windows open, especially if someone has a cold in your home or workplace: if the virus is circulating in a closed environment, it is more likely to find new hosts.

Risk factors

Although everyone is exposed to colds (it is estimated that adults have between 2 and 4 colds per year, on average), some characteristics and behaviors can favor contagion. Are they:

Living with colds

If you have a close friend, relative or co-worker with a cold, the chances of coming into contact with the virus are much greater.

To be a child

Children still have their immune systems in the making stage, and because of that, they have not yet created resistance to a series of common diseases, such as colds and flu, for example.

The younger the child, the greater the likelihood of contracting a cold – it is estimated that, during the first year of life, a baby may contract eight to twelve colds.

The suffering of the child and his parents, however, has an expiration date: from the age of five, colds become less and less frequent.

Working with audiences (especially children)

The more you get in touch with different people, the greater the chances of getting a cold – especially if you work in a closed place, such as shopping malls and children’s buffets, for example.

And, as children are more susceptible to catching colds, those who work with them need to pay double attention.

Weakened immune system

The more fragile an immune system, the more likely the body is to be exposed to viral infections.

Therefore, people with low immunity, autoimmune diseases and problems that directly affect the immune system (such as AIDS and diabetes , for example) need to be extra careful to prevent colds.


The smoking directly affects the immune system that is weakened in the short term. Therefore, smokers are more susceptible to colds and flu than non-smokers.


Cold symptoms usually appear 1 to 3 days after exposure to the virus. However, the incubation period can be up to two weeks.

The most common signs that you have contracted a cold are:

  • Sneezing;
  • Cough;
  • Runny nose with a thin and transparent appearance, with a water-like consistency;
  • Widespread malaise;
  • Burning in the nose and throat;
  • Stuffy nose.

After a few days, some people may experience greenish-colored phlegm. Some patients also experience headache and muscle pain . These pains, however, are usually mild.

Fever is an unusual symptom of colds, and it usually manifests itself only in children or adults with weaker immune systems. When it appears, it must not exceed 37.5ºC.

Cold symptoms usually last 2 to 5 days on average. In children, they can extend for up to 7 days. The intensity of these symptoms should become weaker as the days go by.

Signs that it’s not just a cold

The cold is usually a disease with mild symptoms. Therefore, if you show more serious signs, it is essential to go to the doctor to rule out the possibility of complications and / or more serious illnesses.

You probably don’t just have a cold if you have symptoms like:

  • Fever above 38ºC (mainly if accompanied by chills and night sweat);
  • Fever below 38ºC that persists for more than three days ;
  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Pain in the throat accompanied by the appearance of yellowish or whitish pellets in the region;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Earache.

In babies, in addition to the symptoms mentioned above, it is also important to see a doctor if you notice any of the following characteristics:

  • Persistent crying;
  • Lack of appetite;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Wheezing in the chest;
  • Changes in sleep (especially if the child is sleeping more than usual).

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Mothers and fathers of babies need to pay extra attention when cold symptoms affect the puppy, for a specific reason: the Respiratory Syncytial Virus, also known by the acronym VSR.

Although it can affect children and adults, RSV infection is especially dangerous in children under two years of age. This is because the virus is responsible for causing severe respiratory infections that reach the bronchi and lungs, such as bronchiolitis , for example.

It is very common for RSV to be confused with common colds – both by the child’s parents and health professionals – since the initial symptoms of the two diseases are very similar and RSV can only be detected through laboratory tests.

The main differential of RSV in relation to the cold is the large accumulation of secretions in the baby’s chest, which causes a characteristic wheezing and a huge difficulty in breathing. If your child has these symptoms, it is important to discuss the possibility of an RSV diagnosis test with the responsible pediatrician.

According to a study published in the scientific journal The Lancet in 2010, VSR is responsible for 3.4 million hospitalizations and an average that varies from 66 thousand to 200 thousand deaths annually. Therefore, it is necessary to be attentive.

How is the diagnosis of the cold made?

In general, people with a cold diagnose themselves, noticing their symptoms. Colds are not serious illnesses, and rarely result in serious complications.

If you go to the doctor, the professional will probably make the diagnosis only through the clinical examination, done in the office.

Complementary tests will only be ordered if the doctor suspects that you have some other disease or bacterial infections.

When to see a doctor?

It is important to seek professional help as soon as possible if:

  • Symptoms persist for more than 7 days in adults or for more than 10 days in children;
  • Feel chest pain, especially when breathing, coughing or making physical effort;
  • Feeling short of breath;
  • Feeling strong and persistent headache;
  • Expelling blood while coughing;
  • Present fever above 38.5ºC;
  • Having a fever below 38.5ºC constant, which does not go down and / or persists for more than three days;
  • Note the appearance of red spots on the body;
  • Noticing white or yellow spots on the throat, accompanied by pain and difficulty swallowing.

Can a cold cure?

Yes, a cold can be cured .

The cold is a simple disease that, in most cases, does not even need the intake of medications.

Cold Treatment

In most cases, the cold can be treated without the aid of medication, only with homemade measures and a lot of rest.

However, your doctor may prefer to prescribe some medications that will relieve the symptoms of the common cold.

Homemade cold treatment

Lie with your head high

Laying with your head a little higher than normal is a good way to combat the discomfort of your stuffy nose at night.

To do this, just lie on two pillows, one on top of the other, at bedtime.

Use steam

Steam is a great nasal decongestant, with the potential to greatly relieve discomfort with phlegm.

To bet on this type of treatment, just follow these indications:

  1. Boil a kettle of water;
  2. Put the hot water in a basin;
  3. Position the pelvis just below the face;
  4. Cover your head and face with a towel;
  5. Be exposed to water vapor for at least 5 minutes.

Add honey to the menu

Honey is a natural nasal expectorant and decongestant. So it is a great ally in the fight against coughing and a stuffy nose.

Taking a good spoon of honey once a day is a good way to treat and prevent colds. If you prefer, mix the honey in a hot drink of your choice.

Hot milk with honey

Hot milk with honey is known to relieve coughing and the feeling of general discomfort. To prepare the drink, follow these steps:

  1. Heat the equivalent of a mug of milk and boil for a few minutes;
  2. Turn off the heat and add a tablespoon of honey;
  3. Stir well, until the honey dissolves in the milk;
  4. Drink it still hot.

If you prefer, add a little cinnamon, which also helps to improve your cough and relieve sore throats.

Take vitamin C

Amazingly, vitamin C does not cure colds, but it can strengthen your immune system and prepare your body to overcome the disease.

For this, consume foods such as:

  • Orange;
  • Lemon;
  • Strawberries;
  • Pineapple;
  • Acerola;
  • Papaya;
  • Pepper;
  • Kiwi;
  • Guava;
  • Melon;
  • Brussels sprouts;
  • Cauliflower;
  • Cabbage;
  • Cress;
  • Asparagus;
  • Chard;
  • Spinach;
  • Broccoli;
  • Tomato;
  • Parsley.

Orange juice, lemon, honey and propolis

How about making a super juice to boost your immune system and still soothe cough and sore throat? To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Squeeze two lemons to get the juice out of these fruits. Reserve;
  2. Squeeze two oranges to get the juice out of these fruits. Reserve;
  3. Blend lemon juice, orange juice, half a cup (tea) of milk and 10 drops of propolis extract in a blender, until the mixture is homogeneous;
  4. Sweeten the drink with honey to taste.

If possible, take two glasses of juice a day.

Acerola juice with honey

Acerola is one of the fruits with the highest concentration of vitamin C. Preparing a fruit juice with honey can be a great way to fight a cold.

To do this, just beat a cup (250mL) of acerolas well washed in a blender. Then sweeten with honey to taste.

If possible, take two glasses of juice a day.

Invest in garlic

It may seem weird, but adding garlic to juices and teas can make you recover from your cold more quickly.

This is because garlic is known to have antiviral properties, in addition to protecting the lung from any discomfort caused by the accumulation of secretion.

Garlic tea with lemon and honey

This tea is a super recipe to strengthen the body and still relieve the lung and the uncomfortable feeling of a runny nose. To make the recipe, follow the steps below:

  1. Cut the lemon in half;
  2. Boil a glass (250mL) of water, two cloves of peeled garlic and the two halves of the lemon;
  3. Let your tea cool slightly and strain the mixture;
  4. Sweeten your tea with honey to taste.

If possible, try to have a cup of tea once a day.

Read more:  What is garlic tea for?

Bet on the pepper

Peppers are good natural expectorants, helping a lot in the treatment of cough and stuffy nose.

Drink plenty of fluids

Despite the scarcity of medical literature that proves the relationship between drinking fluids and curing fevers and colds more quickly, it is known that drinking plenty of water helps to release toxins from the body, relieving fatigue and the feeling of being unwell.

In addition, water also regulates body temperature. Therefore, hydrating yourself will be very good for those who are experiencing fevers caused by a cold.

Have a good chicken soup

It sounds like grandma talk, right? But be aware that studies show that a reinforced soup can help a lot in the treatment of colds.

Chicken soup is a dish rich in proteins , minerals, carbohydrates and essential vitamins for the body to overcome a cold. The recipe helps to eliminate mucus, replenish fluids, protect the lung and strengthen the immune system.

Chicken soup recipe for colds

A chicken soup to relieve colds needs to be very neat, with several ingredients that help in this mission. For this, you will need:

  • Half chicken breast with bone;
  • Half a cup (tea) of rice;
  • Juice from a small lemon;
  • Juice from a small orange;
  • Orange zest;
  • A peeled garlic clove;
  • A chopped carrot;
  • An onion;
  • A piece of ginger;
  • Pepper finger to taste;
  • Parsley to taste;
  • Salt to taste.

To prepare, follow these steps:

  1. Chop the onion and place in a pan with the garlic, ginger, pepper and carrot;
  2. Cover everything with water, add a little salt and cook for about 60 minutes;
  3. While the broth is cooking, it’s time to season the chicken breast with orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest and salt. Reserve;
  4. Sift the broth that was cooking;
  5. Place the sieved broth in a new pan and add the rice and the seasoned chicken breast;
  6. Let the rice and chicken cook in the broth for about 20 minutes;
  7. Serve with a little parsley on top.

Absolute rest

Rest gives the body the time it needs to recover and focus on defeating the viruses that are causing unpleasant symptoms. Therefore, in cases of a cold, it is important to set aside at least 72 hours to rest, if possible.

If you don’t have that time, focus on getting a good night’s sleep of at least 8 hours. Thus, your body will have the opportunity to fight your cold properly.

Warm bath

The warm bath is a homemade tactic used to lower the fever. Therefore, it should be used if the patient has a high temperature.

Treatment for colds in babies

Babies are common victims of colds, and because they still have very fragile organisms, they cannot undergo some cold treatments that adults normally bet on.

To treat your child’s colds, some tips are:

Use saline

Until the age of six months, babies cannot breathe through the mouth, only through the nose. So it is important to use tactics to keep your child’s little nose unobstructed. One of the most popular solutions to the problem is saline.

To do this, just wash the child’s nose with serum, at least twice a day. The measure will make the nasal secretion more fluid and prevent the baby from suffering to breathe or suckle.

In pharmacies, you can find bottles of saline that already come with droppers, facilitating the mission of doing the washing. If you choose this type of product, pay attention to the label to ensure that you are buying only saline, and not a nasal solution that has other components besides the serum.

How to wash the baby’s nose with serum

To wash your baby’s nose with serum, you can choose to use a syringe or dropper. Use the utensil that makes you most comfortable.

Then, just follow the following steps:

  1. Pour the amount of serum indicated by the child’s pediatrician into a container. To soften the phlegm, the amount recommended by doctors usually varies from 1 ml to 3 ml;
  2. Before starting the procedure, place a napkin on your lap or attached to the baby’s clothes, to prevent the child from getting wet or getting dirty while washing;
  3. Fill the syringe or dropper, pull the amount of serum indicated by the pediatrician;
  4. Keep the child’s head tilted forward . If the baby is already sitting, keep him in that position. Do not lay the child’s head while washing or leave it with the head tilted back;
  5. Insert the syringe or dropper into the child’s nostril and apply the serum;
  6. The liquid should drip or drain. Be prepared or prepared with a cloth in hand;
  7. Bothered by the procedure, some babies may cry and start coughing. Coughing does not mean that the child is drowning, on the contrary: it is a defense mechanism of the organism so that the serum does not go into the lungs. If your child starts coughing, turn him on his side and don’t interfere. The child should swallow the serum on his own.

Take inhalations

Taking inhalations two to three times a day is important to relieve your baby’s cough and nasal congestion.

But beware! To inhale your child, use only saline . No medicines or other products of the kind.

Elevate baby’s head (no pillows!)

As with the treatment for colds in adults, a good way to alleviate the baby’s suffering at night is to keep his head high at 45º.

However, it is important to remember that babies under one year of age should not sleep with their heads resting on pillows, which are at risk of suffocation for the child.

Therefore, the best way out is to place folded towels or blankets in the crib, under the mattress , on the side where the baby lies, to provide support for your child’s head. The measure should help the child to breathe better and avoid the discomfort of the runny nose.

Offer liquids

Drinking plenty of fluids is an important treatment step for colds at any age.

Offer your puppy plenty of water as long as the cold persists. If your baby is already drinking, it is worth offering natural juices – mainly orange, rich in vitamin C, a component that strengthens the child’s immune system.

Can I use air vaporizers to treat a baby’s cold?

Vaporizers are not indicated for the treatment of babies with colds, especially if the little ones have a history of respiratory problems. This is because this type of device favors the accumulation of mold and fungi on the walls of the room in which it is used.

Although the vaporizer can do a good job in the short term to relieve your child’s nasal congestion, the fungi accumulated by frequent use of the device can cause even more serious health problems and even aggravate the child’s condition.

If in doubt, it is worth consulting a pediatrician and discussing whether or not to use a vaporizer near your child.

Can I use nasal aspirators to treat a baby’s cold?

There is no consensus among doctors about the use of a nasal aspirator in babies – some recommend it, others do not. The best solution is to talk about it with a professional you trust, and preferably, who already knows your child’s health history.

If the doctor authorizes the use of the nasal aspirator on your baby , it is essential to use the equipment correctly. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Before starting the process, wash the baby’s little nose with saline to soften the phlegm;
  2. Remove all the air from the bulb – that rubberized structure that is at the bottom of the vacuum cleaner;
  3. Place the tip of the vacuum cleaner very carefully in one of the child’s nostrils. At this stage, someone else’s help will probably be needed to hold and soothe the baby, who should be agitated by the introduction of a foreign object in his nose;
  4. With both hands, press the bulb repeatedly to suck the discharge from the child’s nose;
  5. When the procedure is finished, wash the nasal aspirator thoroughly with running water and, if you prefer, a little antibacterial soap. Dry well before using again;
  6. Do the procedure at most twice a day, thus avoiding the risk of hurting or irritating the child’s nose;
  7. Once your child has had a cold, sterilize the nasal aspirator to prevent the build-up of microorganisms.

If you have doubts about how to perform the procedure or notice any strange reaction in your child after using the vacuum cleaner, do not hesitate to contact the pediatrician responsible for monitoring the baby.

Can babies take cold medicine?

Babies are not recommended to take specific remedies to treat colds, which include flu, syrups and nasal decongestants.

Studies indicate that this type of medication can cause adverse reactions in young children, especially in children under 6 months.

Side effects related to giving this type of medication to babies include insomnia , gastrointestinal problems, allergic reactions, apathy, changes in heart rate and seizures .

Only medicate your child if the remedy in question is recommended by a trained professional.

Treatment for colds in pregnant women

First of all, it is important to emphasize that a cold will possibly not affect your baby’s development in a negative way, so there is no need to worry.

The treatment for colds in pregnant women is the same for the general population: lots of rest, fluid intake, having a good diet and keeping your head high when going to bed.

However, it is important to remember that not all medications can be taken by pregnant women . In general, the recommendation is that pregnant women who are in the first trimester (that is, with up to 12 weeks of gestation) avoid treating colds with any type of medicine.

From the 12th week onwards, some medicines can be considered safe. Despite this, it is important to always talk to your obstetrician before starting to use any medication. It is also essential to read the package insert, especially the section “Contraindications”.

Nasal decongestants and anti-flu drugs are expressly contraindicated for pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy.

Read more: What can Neosoro cause in pregnancy?

Medicines that can be used by pregnant women

Among the medications that can be used by pregnant women from the second trimester (after the 12th week of pregnancy) to combat the symptoms of colds, are:

  • Paracetamol  ( Tylenol );
  • Dipyrone .

I took cold medicine before I knew I was pregnant, now what?

If you took any medication that is not recommended for pregnant women before you know you were pregnant, it is important to discuss this with your obstetrician.

Until then, try to stay calm and cool your head. You didn’t know you were pregnant and you don’t have to blame yourself for that. What’s more, if you didn’t experience symptoms like cramping and bleeding, you don’t have much to worry about at first.

Cold Remedies

Some doctors may prefer to prescribe medication to relieve their cold symptoms. Among the drugs that can be recommended by the professional, are:

Nasal decongestants

Nasal decongestants are medicines used to unclog the nose. They can be sold in liquid, spray and tablet versions.

However, before using a nasal decongestant, it is important to be aware of the package insert. In general, this type of medication is totally contraindicated for children under 6 years of age.

People with hypertension and heart problems should also avoid these drugs, which affect blood vessels and blood flow.

Children between 6 and 11 years old should only use nasal decongestants with the permission of the pediatrician.

Some nasal decongestants that may be recommended by your doctor are:

  • Sorine ;
  • Neosoro ;
  • Fluimucil ;
  • Aturgyl ;
  • Privina ;
  • Vick Vaporub ;
  • New Rino .

Remedies to relieve symptoms

If symptoms such as fever, general malaise and localized pain are bothering you a lot, the doctor may recommend a medication to ease these discomforts.

Some remedies for relieving cold symptoms that are commonly prescribed by doctors are Tylenol (paracetamol) and Benegrip .


If the cough and the accumulation of secretions last longer than expected, your doctor may choose to prescribe a syrup, an expectorant medication that relieves this type of symptom.

Among the syrups that may be indicated by your doctor, may be:

  • Torante ;
  • Transpulmin ;
  • Carbocysteine ;
  • Histamin .


NEVER self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained in this website is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.

Living together

The cold is a simple but uncomfortable disease. For the situation to pass as quickly as possible, the ideal is to take care of yourself properly: drink fluids, rest as much as possible and eat properly. Also, try to stay as comfortable as possible.

It is also important to keep your home, bedroom or resting place free of moisture, to prevent the proliferation of fungi and bacteria that can aggravate the situation. Keeping the room airy and clean is also essential for your recovery.

Resting a lot and maintaining a good night’s sleep in order to recover faster is essential. If there is a possibility of not going to school, college or work, prefer to stay at home resting, at least for a day.

If you live with other people – especially children – take care to clean your hands and shared objects (such as cutlery, plates and glasses, for example). Encourage other people in the household to constantly wash their hands and rub gel alcohol while you have a cold. Try to keep the windows open.

While you are recovering, also avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, which can leave you dehydrated and suppress the effectiveness of your immune system.


Because it is a simple disease, the common cold rarely causes complications. The evolution of the condition is usually related to problems in the immune system or successive infections by viruses that cause colds and are not treated.

Possible complications include:

Ear infection

Ear infection (or otitis media) happens when the virus responsible for the cold migrates to the middle ear region. This complication is more common in children, especially in babies.

In addition to the characteristic earache , otitis resulting from a cold usually manifests itself through the appearance of a thick, yellowish phlegm. The condition also has a fever.

Children who are still unable to verbalize their symptoms often cry a lot and have trouble sleeping when they have an ear infection.


The sinusitis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the sinuses – a region that goes from the cheekbones to the forehead, through the entire structure of the nose.

It happens due to a cold when microorganisms accumulate in the nasal mucosa, thanks to the accumulation of secretion in the nostrils.

Among the discomfort of sinusitis are very severe head and face pain, fever, inflammation in the throat, pressure and ringing in the ears and, in some cases, bad breath .

If you have symptoms of sinusitis, you need to see a doctor, since the treatment of the condition may include the prescription of specific antibiotics .

Throat infection

Colds caused by viral agents from the coronavirus and rhinovirus families can develop into a throat infection because these types of viruses are natural causes of laryngitis – the infection that affects the larynx region.

Often, the cold and throat infection can even happen simultaneously, which makes the diagnosis difficult.

Symptoms of throat infection include redness and swelling in the area, pain and difficulty in swallowing, neck pain and fever.


It is difficult to talk about absolute cold prevention – it is very likely that, however healthy you are, you will catch a cold at some point in your life.

However, some measures can be taken to make this contagion more difficult. Are they:

Wash your hands frequently

Hand hygiene often is an excellent way to keep away from various types of viruses. Whenever you have the opportunity, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

It is also worth encouraging your children to cultivate this habit and bet on alcohol gel to get rid of microorganisms.

Keep the house clean

It is important to clean free circulation rooms in the house (such as the kitchen and bathroom, for example) periodically, using disinfectants, especially if someone in the family has a cold.

From time to time, it is also recommended to sterilize children’s toys, especially those they take to play outside the home.

Avoid indoor locations

In the cold, the temptation to keep the windows closed and the warm environment is great, but the consequences may not be worth it. Keep the window open whenever possible – both at home and on the bus, car and workplace.

Do not share objects with cold people

If you live with someone who has a cold, ask them to separate commonly shared objects (glasses, plates, cutlery and cups) just for them while they are sick.

When the cold patient improves, sterilize the objects used by him before storing.

Eat well

Having a healthy and balanced diet is the key to having a strong immune system and avoiding viral infections.

Common questions

Because it is a common disease, the cold is surrounded by myths, urban legends and common sense, generating many doubts. The most common are listed below:

Does the flu vaccine protect against colds?

No. The flu vaccine protects only against viruses in the Influenza family. The common cold has other viruses as causative agents. So even if you are vaccinated against the flu, you will still be exposed to the risk of catching colds.

To date, there is no cold vaccine available on the market.

Why is there no vaccine against colds?

It is complicated to develop a cold vaccine because the disease can be caused by more than 250 viral variations.

Despite this, a vaccine against colds was patented in Austria in January 2017. The forecast is that, if everything goes as planned, the product may be available to the public in 2027.

What is the relationship between colds and winter?

Directly speaking, none. There is no relationship between cold weather and the spread of cold-causing viruses.

What happens is that, in winter, people usually leave their windows closed to protect themselves from the cold. This facilitates contamination, as it puts the virus responsible for the cold to circulate in a closed environment with other people, who end up becoming easy targets for the disease.

Therefore, it is essential to leave the windows open during the winter – even if it is just a crack – especially in environments with many people, such as classrooms and buses, for example.

Can I catch a cold if I am exposed to “coldness”?

Cold air does not cause a cold. The only way to get the disease is to come into contact with the virus.

However, if you have breathing problems – such as asthma and bronchitis – cold weather can favor the onset of attacks from these problems, lowering your immunity and making your body more prone to catching colds.

What is the treatment for allergic colds?

Allergic cold does not exist. You either have an allergy , or you have a cold. They are different diseases.

It is normal to confuse allergies and colds, after all, the symptoms are very similar. A crucial difference is that the allergy does not cause malaise, pain or fever.

In the case of an allergy, the symptoms disappear as soon as the person stops having contact with the substance that is causing the problem (dust or animal hair, for example).

Should I take orange juice to treat a cold?

Contrary to common sense, there is no scientific evidence that vitamin C – present in fruits like oranges, peeled lemon, kiwi , pineapple and strawberries – really helps to fight colds and flu.

However, it is known that vitamin C acts directly on white blood cells, strengthening your immune system. So, even if the orange juice does not cure the cold, it can leave your body better prepared to fight the disease.

If you want to invest in the consumption of vitamin C to improve your body’s defenses, a good option is to bet on acerola. One hundred grams of the fruit contains approximately 1678mg of the vitamin, against 59mg of vitamin C for every 100g of orange.

Can I take antibiotics to treat colds?

Antibiotics are extremely effective drugs to fight bacteria, but they will have no effect on the viruses that cause colds.

In addition, you should never take antibiotics without proper medical advice. The drug can cause adverse reactions or even lose its effectiveness when you really need it.

Can I have ice cream while I have a cold?

He can. Ice cream and cold drinks do not make the severity of your cold worse.

However, eating cold foods can actually worsen a sore or infected throat. This is because eating cold foods causes the blood vessels in the throat to contract, making the healing process more difficult.

I have a cold, should I stay home?

If you can stay at home, stay. Colds are highly contagious in their early stages, and you can pass the disease on to others. In addition, complete rest will make you recover faster.

Medical certificates for cases of cold, in general, are not more than a day, and can reach a maximum of two depending on the severity of your case.

Why does my child get a cold often?

Children – especially up to 5 years of age – still have their immune systems forming, and as a result, they still do not have resistance to various diseases, including colds.

The little ones also tend to be inserted in environments that count with many other children, like day-care centers, schools, playgrounds and birthday parties, for example. This favors contact with viruses.

As your child grows older, the frequency of colds will decrease and become more and more like that of an adult.