Common cold, as the name suggests, is a very common ailment that inflicts suffering on every single human on this earth. This sickness isn’t really a new one. It has existed since times immemorial! The question that therefore naturally comes is, ‘why is there no cure for this common illness’ or ‘why have the scientists failed to eradicate this ailment from its roots’? Though we have a definitive answer to this ‘why’, we, the great humans, have failed to find a definitive solution which is rightly addressed by one single word – ‘how’. Let us learn 20 interesting common cold facts and learn a hell lot of things about this illness that has been a part of human existence since antiquity!
Common Cold Facts: 1-10
1. The history of common cold perhaps predates humans but we have no way of finding out the same. The earliest records of the symptoms of this illness and its possible treatments can be found in Egyptian Ebers Papyrus – the oldest known medical text in existence.
2. Common cold is extremely common and people all around the globe are affected. Children catch cold some 6-10 times a year. School-going children may catch cold 12 times a years. Adults on the other hand catch cold 2-5 times a year.
3. In ageing people symptomatic infection rates are higher simply because their immune system gradually grows weaker.
4. As opposed to popular myth, ethnicity has nothing to do with common cold. While data shows that Inuit people and Native Americans are more prone to common cold than the Caucasians, the truth is that it is only overcrowding and poverty that leads to greater instances of common cold in Inuit people and Native Americans.
5. Common cold is generally self-limiting and mild and 50% of the cases are usually cured within 10 days from the day of infection. 90% cases get cured within 15 days.
6. Common cold can however lead to severe complications. This is not usually in generally healthy people. People who are either very young or old or people who are immunosuppressed are more threatened by complications caused by common cold.
7. The most common complications that can rise due to common cold include ear infection, pharyngitis, or sinusitis.
8. Pliny, a Roman Philosopher from 1st Century AD proposed that people suffering of common cold should kiss a mouse’s hair muzzle as a cure!
9. Hippocrates from 400 BC noted that in those days, bleeding was a common method that was used as a cure for common cold but the method was actually worthless.
10. While it is a common notion that common cold is contagious, the part of it which says that don’t kiss when you catch cold, is actually false. Okay, Eskimo kisses are to be prevented but actually smooching won’t transfer the viruses to the person you smooch or kiss because these notorious viruses don’t really love jumping from mouth to mouth or lip to lip.