How are Head Colds Spread?
Head colds are caused by a virus entering the body, which can happen either through the air or through direct contact with the virus – so unfortunately, it’s quite easy for them to spread.iii
Viruses can be transmitted via water droplets in the air from an infected person’s cough or sneeze, which are then inhaled by you. You can also come into contact with the virus by touching an infected surface (such as doorknobs, rails or other objects), or by close direct contact with someone who has the virus (shaking hands, hugging or kissing). If you picked up a virus from an infected surface or person, then touch your mouth, eyes or nose, you may become infected too.i, iii
You’re more likely to come down with the symptoms of a head cold in the winter or fall, but you can get them at any time.i
What are the Treatments for a Head Cold?
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for a head cold – and antibiotics won’t make it go away. While you’ll usually feel better within 7-10 days, there are some ways you can treat your symptoms and get some relief while you recover:i, vi
- Rest: This will give your body the best chance to recover. Stay home from work or school whenever possible.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water, tea or juice throughout the day. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, which may dehydrate you.
- Increase air humidity: Using a humidifier can help to ease congestion and coughing. If you don’t have a humidifier, try having a hot shower or bath to breathe in the steam.
- Gargle salt water: If you’re suffering with a sore or scratchy throat because of your head cold, try dissolving 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt in a glass of warm water for temporary pain relief. Simply gargle the mixture and then spit out.
- Try over-the-counter medications: OTC cold medicines such as Theraflu ExpressMax Severe Cold and Flu Syrup or Theraflu Multi-Symptom Hot Liquid Powder can help to provide temporary relief from your cold symptoms.
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