Summer doesn’t mean end of cold viruses
By ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times
Imagine a summer day of being perfectly healthy and going about a normal routine and then the next day, it hits – the summer cold.
Colds are generally more prevalent in the wintertime, but not because of the weather, but because of the virus that causes the cold, according to News in Health and nih.gov. The website everydayhealth.com adds to this, saying the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases estimates 30 to 50 percent of colds are caused by rhinoviruses, which are most active in the spring, summer, and early fall.
While colds and flus are different viruses, their respective symptoms are the same in the summer as in the winter, including fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, dry coughs (for the flu) and runny or congested noses (for colds).
“The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses that are caused by different types of viruses,” Charly Madden, a registered nurse at the Seward County Health Department, said. “They both have similar flu-like symptoms making it difficult to tell the difference between them.”
One summer-specific factor that can increase odds for colds is constant exposure to re-circulated air, which can dry out the inside of a person’s nose, allowing viruses to come. Both can happen in both air-conditioned buildings and in airplanes full of vacationers.
Madden added typically viruses have to run their course and it may take up to two weeks or longer for ill people to recover and stressed it is very important to notify a physician if symptoms get worse or do not improve.
“There are multiple strains of viruses that cause the common cold and flu. Viruses that cause the common cold and flu can be spread from an infected person to others through the air and close personal contact,” Madden said. “Once a person is exposed to a certain strain, their body builds immunity to that strain to help reduce the chance of being of re-infected.”
The methods of treating a summer cold or flu are much the same as in the winter including comfort measures such as increased fluid intake, use of a cool mist humidifier and/or nasal saline to help relieve nasal congestion, ice chips and throat spray or lozenges to help soothe the throat.
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