COMMON COLD

Acute inflammation of the upper respiratory tract; rhinitis (nasal mucosa) and rhinopharyngitis (nasal and
pharyngitis).

Cause

  • Viruses – several types, often rhinoviruses

Clinical features

  • Onset usually sudden
  • Tickling sensation in nose and sneezing
  • Throat dry and sore
  • Profuse nasal watery or purulent discharge, tearing

Complications

  • Sinusitis
  • Lower respiratory tract infection (pneumonia)
  • Ear ache, deafness, otitis media
  • Headache

Differential diagnosis

  • Nasal allergy

Management

Common cold is a viral disease and so does NOT require any antibiotics. Antibiotics do not promote recovery or
prevent complications, and cause patients unnecessary side effects.

TREATEMENT

No antibiotics, give only symptomatic treatment

  • Increase fluid intake, preferably warm drinks
  • Give paracetamol for 2-3 days
  • Home remedies (steam, honey)
  • Xylometazoline 0.05% nose drops 2-3 drops into each nostril 3 times daily (max: 5 days)

For breastfeeding children

  • Continue breastfeeding
  • Clear the nose with normal saline to ease breathing or feeding
  • Keep the child warm
Note
  • Avoid cough syrups in children below 6 years

Prevention

  • Avoid contact with infected persons
  • Include adequate fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet