WASHINGTON – Call them common, but colds aren’t a trivial health problem. Colds are highly contagious and account for about 40 percent of time lost from work in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health.
Sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, headache and body aches are all symptoms of the common cold, which has no cure and can be caused by more than 200 viruses.
Doctors recommend people who are sick with a cold stay home and rest, especially during the first two to three days of a cold when it’s most contagious. Cold symptoms usually go away within a week, but can linger as long as two weeks.
When coping with colds or other ailments, such as sore throats, sinus infections or bronchitis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends treating the symptoms with rest, fluids, over-the-counter pain relievers and decongestants.
The CDC says people also might feel better using saltwater nose drops. Running a humidifier or cool mist vaporizer may help.