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Common cold
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Common cold

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Contributors: Scott Echternacht, Benjamin L. Mazer MD, MBA, Paul C. Bryson MD, Abhijeet Waghray MD
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Synopsis

The common cold is a common cause of acute inflammation of the nasopharynx (rhinitis and pharyngitis). It is caused by a variety of viruses, particularly rhinovirus, coronavirus, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Although it can occur at any time of the year, there is usually a peak prevalence during the fall and winter months.

Primary symptoms include rhinorrhea, nasal congestion, and sore throat. These symptoms are largely due to the body's innate immune response to the viral infection rather than viral damage to the respiratory tract. Constitutional signs such as fever and chills are less pronounced than in other respiratory infections. A common cold may also aggravate underlying asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Secondary bacterial superinfections can occur. Patients with above symptoms along with localized pain to the sinuses may have resulting sinusitis (ie, viral sinusitis).

Common colds are self-limited and do not require specific treatment, but rather supportive measures. Children younger than 6 years average 6-8 colds per year with symptoms typically lasting 14 days. Older children and adults average 2-4 colds per year with symptoms typically lasting 5-7 days; however, the duration of symptoms is increased in cigarette smokers.

Codes

ICD10CM:
J00 – Acute nasopharyngitis [common cold]

SNOMEDCT:
82272006 – Common Cold

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Last Reviewed: 06/14/2019
Last Updated: 06/20/2019
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Common cold
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Common cold : Cough, Headache, Hoarseness, Malaise, Nasal congestion, Rhinorrhea, Sneezing
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