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Coughing, sneezing, a sore throat, runny nose…these are all classic symptoms of an Upper Respiratory Infection (URI); often referred to as the common cold. The average child has 6 – 10 per year. If you have more than one kid, that’s a lot of sickness in your house. AdventHealth Centra Care physicians have seen an increase, particularly in children.
URI is any type of infection of the head and chest that is caused by a virus. It can affect people in the nose, throat, sinuses and ears. The infection is spread when viruses are passed to others by sneezing, coughing, or by touching something that has been infected by another person.
Flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Colds are usually milder than flu. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations. Unfortunately there is no cure for a cold, and because it is a viral infection antibiotics are not effective. Generally this type of illness lasts about a week.
To recover from symptoms as quickly as possible:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink lots of clear fluids to prevent dehydration (water, sports drinks and broth).
- Use a humidifier at night so you're breathing in moist air.