Common Cold Symptoms

common cold symptoms

The common cold is primarily caused by a virus.  Viruses exist in hundreds of forms; however, most cause similar cold symptoms.  Due to the ability of viruses to evolve at a rapid rate, they are constantly changing.  This tricks our immune system and doesn’t allow us to build up resistance to all forms of viruses.  This is why colds are so common and often return!

Viruses that cause the common cold are contagious.  They can be spread by air droplets from and infected individual by coughing and sneezing.  It is also spread by contact, such as touching a surface that has been infected (examples include: doorknobs, countertops, drinkware). Viruses are contagious from 1–2 days before symptoms begin until the symptoms have stopped.

The symptoms of the common cold are the body’s reaction to a cold virus. The virus triggers the immune response to release certain chemicals in the body resulting in increased mucous production.

The most common symptoms of a cold are:

  • dry throat
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • mild fever
  • sneezing
  • hoarse voice
  • nasal congestion
  • mild headache

Rarer symptoms of a cold include:

  • muscle aches
  • chills
  • pink eye
  • weakness
  • reduction in appetite
  • extreme exhaustion

Some people do not suffer any symptoms when infected with a cold virus, perhaps because their immune system reacts differently to the virus. Occasionally a common cold can be complicated by a secondary infection by bacteria causing additional issues such as ear infections or sinus infections.

Urgent Care Network

To determine whether your symptoms are from a cold or from the flu, you need stop in at any of our locations in the metro area. Our three clinics are:

Our staff is here every day of the week to assist with your urgent care needs. No one can anticipate when an urgent care will be needed, so it’s good to know where they are in your area.

The information contained on this webpage is for educational purposes as well as to provide general information and general understanding of the pertinent medical issue only, not to provide a specific diagnosis. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. By using this blog/web site you understand there is no doctor patient relationship between you and the blog/web site publisher. The information included on this site should not be used as a substitute for medical advice from a licensed medical professional in your state. Neither Urgent Care Network, its subsidiaries, affiliates, assignees or successors in interest, nor any other party assume liability for loss or damage due to reliance on content of this blog/web site. If you are experiencing a severe medical issue, you should seek emergency assistance immediately.