Dripping noses and choruses of coughs can be heard in hallways and homes as fall settles in, a season often considered ripe for colds.
The truth is colds hit year round. In fact, adults probably come down with two or three infections per year. Children, especially those hitting the classroom or settling in at day care, often see up to six colds a year.
“It’s considered one of the most common infectious diseases in humans,” said Mark Schleiss, M.D., co-director of the Center for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Translational Research at the University of Minnesota. “Colds are generally caused by a virus called rhinovirus, and there are about 100 unique types of rhinoviruses. You can build immunity to them, but there are a lot of different strains so it’s hard to beat it completely.”
Schleiss is a practicing pediatrician and sees plenty of colds, so we checked in for the inside scoop on how to treat – and avoid – the common cold.