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Showing posts from June, 2016

The common cold - definition, diagnosis and treatment

  DEFINITION   It is an upper respiratory tract illness that comprises of rhinorrhea and nasal obstruction as the main symptoms.   EPIDEMIOLOGY   5- 7 times/ year in children and 2-3 times/ year in adults. most commonly seen between the early fall and late spring in temperate climates. Transmission of the virus may occur via direct contact, large-particle aerosol, or small-particle aerosol.   MICROBIOLOGY   The rhinoviruses are usually responsible for the majority of cases. Coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus and metapneumovirus may also be associated with the common cold syndrome.   DIAGNOSIS   The diagnosis of the common cold is a clinical diagnosis. Polymerase chain reaction assay can determine the responsible pathogen but this is rarely useful in the management of the patient.   THERAPY   Management is mainly directed towards the bothersome symptoms as no specific antiviral agents are useful in the treatment. First published on: 10 June 2016