Truths about common colds
Is common cold a serious illness?
Common colds are usually not considered serious. However, if you have low immune system (babies, elderly, sickle cell people, or people living with HIV Aids) it can lead to more serious complications.
Do I need to see a doctor?
If you don’t feel well, see a doctor. More importantly, see your doctor if a baby aged less than three months develops a fever higher than 38°C, has a fever, ear ache, having difficulty in breathing, or coughing up green, yellow or brown sputum. This could be a sign of a bacterial infection that needs treatment with antibiotics.
Do I need to use antibiotics to treat colds?
No, No, No! Colds are viral infections. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. The overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance where symptoms don’t respond to treatment with antibiotics.
How soon will I get better?
Common colds usually wear off after 7 to 10 days. If you are getting worse after this period, see a doctor.
People take Vitamin C. Can I take then too?
Experts say there's very little proof that vitamin C actually has any effect on the common cold. Instead, take your usual fruits (orange, grapes, and other) which are all rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which help fight infections.
Can I catch a cold by walking in the cold?
For decades, we have been made to believe that if you run through a cold morning with no jacket, you can catch a cold. Experts say this is false. Exposing yourself to cold and wetness may make you vulnerable to cold because you may fall ill with something else, and this will lower your immune system. Then, cold viruses can thrive better.
Is cold the same as flu?
No. A cold is not a flu. Flu is caused by the influenza virus, and it is a bit more sever than common colds. They have similar symptoms, but flus come with body ache, low appetite and generally very low health.