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Symptoms of the Common Cold

by Marissa Willman
  • Overview

    The common cold is caused by a virus that affects the upper respiratory system. More than 200 known viruses can trigger the common cold, so symptoms can vary from person to person. Common symptoms include sneezing, coughing and nasal congestion.
  • Time Frame

    The symptoms of the common cold typically appear two to three days after contracting the virus. Symptoms usually subside within a week.
  • Nasal Symptoms

    The common cold affects the nose first and foremost. Sneezing and irritation in the nose may occur. Nasal congestion or runniness are also common symptoms.
  • Throat Symptoms

    An itchy or sore throat can be a symptom of the common cold. Some patients may also develop a cough, which can last up to a week after the cold subsides.
  • Fever

    A low-grade fever may accompany the common cold. Fevers are common in children but may not appear in adults. Patients with a fever higher than 102-degrees Fahrenheit should seek medical attention.
  • Aches

    The common cold can cause muscle and joint aches throughout the body. The patient may also experience headaches or fatigue.

    References & Resources