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Common Cold

Sneezing, sore throat, a stuffy nose, coughing - everyone knows the symptoms of the common cold. It is probably the most common illness. In the course of a year, people in the United States suffer 1 billion colds.

You can get a cold by touching your eyes or nose after you touch surfaces with cold germs on them. You can also inhale the germs. Symptoms usually begin 2 or 3 days after infection and last 2 to 14 days. Washing your hands and staying away from people with colds will help you avoid colds.

There is no cure for the common cold. For relief, try
  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Drinking fluids
  • Gargling with warm salt water
  • Using cough drops or throat sprays
  • Taking over-the-counter pain or cold medicines
However, do not give aspirin to children. And do not give cough medicine to children under four.

Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Schedule an appointment with Ohio State's experts in infectious disease. Call 614-293-4854.