Human rhinovirus, otherwise known as the common cold, was first discovered in the 1950s when scientists were trying to understand more about the inner workings of the virus. After all of this time, we still do not have a cure for this pretty common ailment.
Both antiviral agents and vaccinations have been attempted, but all have been unsuccessful. What makes treatment development so difficult? There are more than 200 viruses known that cause the symptoms of the common cold. Human rhinovirus just happens to be the most common culprit for causing the common cold. With winter just around the corner, it may be helpful to understand how the common cold develops, how you can prevent from spreading it, and some good old fashioned home remedies that will ease your symptoms.
How Does the Common Cold Start?
How exactly do you spread the virus? First, you have to come into contact with another infected person. It is spread either through direct contact or by touching a surface that has been contaminated and then touching your nose or mouth right afterward. The cold may also be spread through large mucus particles that are expelled from the body through close range coughs and sneezes. Interestingly enough, contamination of the eye can cause an infection in the nose because tears from the eye drain through a duct that leads right into the nasal cavity.
Once inside the body, the virus then attaches itself to the lining of your nose or throat, wherever it happened to enter the body. In reaction to this, the body’s immune system sends out white blood cells to combat the virus. Unless you have been infected with this strain before (remember there are around 200 different viral strains that cause the common cold), the initial attack by your immune system will fail; this is what causes the inflammation of your throat and nose and why your body starts to produce all of that nasty mucus. Because your body is spending so much energy trying to fight off the infection, sufferers are often left feeling tired and weak.
What makes it more likely that someone will catch a cold? Contrary to popular belief, you do not catch a cold from being wet or cold outside. Usually, if you are feeling stressed and overly tired or if you are someone with regular allergies, it is more likely that the virus will affect you.