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Common Cold

A cold is a viral infection which affects the nose, ears and throat. There are more than 200 different types of viruses that can cause the common cold.

 

Colds normally last a few days and are not usually serious. However they can lead to other infections, especially in children.

Young children, for example those under 3, tend to catch colds more frequently than adults because their immune systems are not yet fully developed. You can get one cold after another because there are so many different viruses circulating.

Signs and symptoms of Colds usually mean a combination of the following:

  • runny or blocked nose

  • sore throat

  • fever (occasionally)

  • headache

  • cough

  • sneezing.

Symptoms normally only last a few days and most people fully recover within 7 to 10 days.

You should see your doctor if you or a member

of your family have severe symptoms such as:

  • persistent coloured discharge from the nose

  • difficulty breathing

  • high fever that does not respond to paracetamol.

  • vomiting frequently

  • intense headache

  • persistent cough.

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It is not usually necessary for adults to see a doctor for a common cold infection if they have no medical at risk factors.

For further information please see the Department of Health website

http://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Common-cold

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