The common cold is one of the most common infections you can get. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, sore throat, stuffy and runny nose. Headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue may also develop as the body defends itself against the infection.
Studies have shown that contaminated hands are big culprits that aid the spread of certain viruses and bacteria. Casual rinsing of hands under a running tap is not good enough. For proper hand hygiene, follow the 7 Steps of hand hygiene and make sure you use sufficient hand hygiene product (e.g. soap and water). By doing so, you will reduce the spread of infection.
On average, a person is contagious as early as a day after infection and remains so until the symptoms have completely subsided. However symptoms usually take two to three days to appear, thus a person can be contagious without showing any symptoms.
Transmission happens when an infected person sneezes or coughs into the air and the droplets are inhaled by another person. The virus can also be spread through touching an infected surface and then touching one's nose, mouth, or eye area.
The more people there are in an area, the more likely it will be that one or more of them are infected.
Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes unnecessarily
Touching your face, particularly after touching stairwells, doorknobs, and other public surfaces or engaging in physical contact with others (i.e. shaking hands) are possible ways of spreading the virus.
Cleaning objects with a virus-killing disinfectant is a good idea when there are infected people in the vicinity.
Keep your hands clean
If soap and water aren't available, alcohol-based hand rub or gels can be used.
Research shows that those who engage in regular exercise are less likely to suffer from colds. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is also beneficial for keeping immune function strong.
Smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to come down with colds, and they experience more severe symptoms when infected.