What Causes a Cold?

Everyone hates getting a cold. It really disrupts our busy American lifestyle and causes a lot of unnecessary discomfort, but do you know exactly what causes a cold? Knowing this information may help you better prepare to battle the common cold.

The biggest factor that causes colds is viruses. There are more than 200 different viruses known to cause symptoms of a cold. Rhinoviruses (viruses of the nose) cause and estimated 30 to 35 percent of all adult colds, and are most active in the early fall, spring and summer. Many scientists also think that coronaviruses cause a large percentage of adult colds. Coronaviruses generally bring on colds in the winter and early spring. The cause of 30 to 50 percent of adult viral colds remains unidentified, but we do know that the same viruses that cause colds in adults also cause colds in children. Because the viruses change so often and so quickly, the body never builds up a resistance against all of them. This is why colds are a frequent and recurring problem. The common cold is the leading cause of doctors' visits and missed days from school and work.

Because there is no way to cure a cold or get rid of all of these viruses forever, healthy lifestyle choices are the best things you can do to prevent yourself from catching a cold. The very best thing you can do is to frequently wash your hands with soap and water for 2 minutes or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Germs spread the fastest via hand contact, so keeping your hands clean will help keep germs and viruses away from the rest of your body. It's also important to eat a healthy diet and get proper exercise to strengthen your immune system and fight foreign invaders to your body.

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