More than 200 types of viruses can cause a cold. Colds are most common in late winter and early spring. Colds develop over one or two days. Colds usually last a week or two.

Symptoms of a Cold 

  • Runny nose
  • Red eyes
  • Sneezing 
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Headache
  • General body aches

Reducing risks of getting a cold 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water—especially in public places where the chance of catching cold is higher.
  • Eat well and gets a lots of sleep.
  • Keeps your hands away from your mouth, eyes, and nose.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a handkerchief when you cough or sneeze.
  • Cut back or stop smoking. Stay away from second-hand smoke when possible.

Treating a cold

  • Get extra rest.
  • Drink lots of fluids—water (hot or cold), tea, broth and soups.
  • Use disposable tissues.
  • Gargle with warm salty water if you have a sore throat.
  • Increase the moisture in the air in your house. Use a humidifier in your bedroom and take long showers.
  • If needed, take over-the-counter cold medication to help with symptoms. Always follow the instructions. Pills can have side effects, especially when too much is used.
  • Do not give aspirin to anyone under 20 years old. It is linked to Reye syndrome,  a serious illness that affects the liver and brain.

If a cold lasts longer than two weeks, visit your local health centre.