It seems that every year at the start of a new semester there is a cold that gets circulated throughout the entire school community. The common cold usually consists of congestion, cough, sore throat, rhinorrhea, and low-grade fever. Most common colds are caused by rhinoviruses and often caused by contaminants on the hands rather than airborne aerosols. The cold is usually caught 1-2 days after being exposed to the pathogen. Common colds typically are resolved within a week but not before reaching a peak at about 3-4 days after becoming symptomatic.
Not smoking, being exposed to preschool at a young age, drinking red wine, and reducing physiological stressors can all help prevent an individual from contracting the common cold. Surprisingly, after conducting a fair amount of research it has been discovered that vitamin C intake does not seem to help reduce the length of colds. In some studies, daily vitamin C intake, especially natural intake through diet rather than supplementation, seemed to decrease the amount of colds a person caught during cold season.
The common cold has been a bit of a mystery when it comes to treatment. Still to this day, the only real treatments are treating the symptoms rather than the virus itself. Antihistamines are used to reduce sneezing. Anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications, like ibuprofen, are used to help decrease inflammation and pain in areas like the throat or sinuses. Nasal decongestants can be used to help with congestion. So remember, as the first semester of school goes on, wash your hands.