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You have a stuffy nose and are achy all over with a nagging cough. You feel so bad that you call in sick to spend the day lying in bed, drinking hot tea and eating chicken soup. Is this just a cold virus, or is it allergy?
The cold virus is actually one of two hundred viruses that cause the cold. While some last just a few days, some viruses last longer and in some persons cause death.
Rhinoviruses are the worst offenders and cause colds in the summer, early fall and spring. Coronaviruses cause a large number of colds in adults and most common in winter and early spring. There are possibly only three or four coronaviruses to cause illness. Because it is so difficult to grow in a lab, it is not easy to determine. 30-50 percent of colds are caused by viruses that are unknown by doctors.
There are some things to remember about colds and how you catch them. Being chilled or exposed to the cold doesn’t cause them. You do not get them from exercising or having enlarged tonsils. It can take three to five days after exposure to the cold virus for the symptoms to appear.
Once you are sick how do know if it is a cold or the flu? The cold flu difference can be hard to differentiate. Both cold and flu can include aching limbs, sneezing and low-grade fever. The cold flu difference is that a cold, like the flu lasts anywhere from five to seven days, although the flu symptoms can last several weeks. Because of the amount of viruses that cause the common cold, there is no cure. The flu shot is one of your best defenses against catching the flu.