The common cold is one of the most common ailments that affect people in the United States. It is estimated that Americans suffer approximately 1 billion colds per year.

Colds are caused by a number of viruses, but the Rhinovirus is the mostly to blame, causing anywhere from 10%-40% of all colds. Colds are generally harmless, although it might not feel like it when you’re suffering from one.


Colds are very contagious. The virus enters your body through your nose, eyes, or mouth through droplets in the air. The droplets are spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or even talks.  Touching a contaminated surface, such as a doorknob, eating utensil, or computer keyboard, can also spread the virus.


  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy or sore throat
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Slight body aches or a mild headache
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Low-grade fever
  • Mild fatigue

When to see a doctor

For Adults-

  • Fever of 103 F (39.4 C) or higher
  • Fever accompanied by sweating, chills and a cough with colored phlegm
  • Significantly swollen glands
  • Severe sinus pain

For Children-

  • Fever of 100.4 F (38 C) in newborns up to 12 weeks
  • Fever that rises repeatedly above 104 F (40 C) in a child of any age
  • Signs of dehydration, such as urinating less often than usual
  • Not drinking adequate fluids
  • Fever that lasts more than 24 hours in a child younger than 2
  • Fever that lasts more than three days in a child older than 2
  • Vomiting or abdominal pain
  • Unusual sleepiness
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent crying
  • Persistent cough
  • Ear Pain