Winter Sickness Alert - Do you have cold virus infection?


Every year fall of winter brings about spate of illnesses, a majority of which are due to flu and cold virus infections. Both these ailments result in respiratory illnesses with almost similar symptoms but are caused by different types of viruses.


Cold viruses generally attack the upper respiratory tract. There are more than 200 types of cold viruses that give rise to our misery but the most active of them is the rhinovirus which is responsible for nearly 50% of cold virus infections. Other viruses to be mentioned are coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza virus, and parainfluenza virus.


Symptoms of cold virus infection

Cold viruses and allergies have similar symptoms. Many times, problems that appear like cold infections at first later turn out to be allergies. During this time of the year as people mostly stay indoors, they get affected by the allergens living on curtains, carpets, sofas, and other furniture thanks to dust mites, pets, leftover foods, etc.


Cold symptoms usually start with sore throat and swallowing problem which may last for 2-3 days followed by runny or blocked nose and cough by the time it rolls into fourth or fifth day. Though fever isn’t common in adults due to cold, children are likely to have fever from cold. Cold symptoms generally run for nearly seven days of which first two - three days is the period when one is contagious. So in the initial few days it is advisable to stay home and avoid coming close to others in order to prevent cold virus infections.


Take a quick glance at the below table for the possible symptoms of the cold virus infection.

Signs & symptoms Cold virus attack
Symptoms onset Gradual
Fever Rare
Aches Slight
Shivering or chill Generally not
Fatigue, weakness Sometimes
Nose block Common
Sneezing Common
Sore throat Common
Cough and Chest discomfort Mild to moderate
Headache Rare

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