It’s cold and flu season. Here’s a synopsis on cold viruses, just how you have the right to have 2 at once, and what you deserve to do to reduced down your risk of catching one.

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The common cold is a pervasive virus.

In fact, it’s the key reason for children lacking school and also adults lacking work, follow to the Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While there are much more than 200 virus strains that can contribute to the common cold, the most common are rhinoviruses.

And back the rhinovirus is commonplace and well understood, there’s right now no magic cartridge for curing the usual cold.

In fact, it’s therefore common, it’s technically possible for friend to catch two colds at the exact same time.

Two colds in ~ once?

Experiencing more than one cold throughout cold season is pretty common, therefore does that average that it’s possible to have two colds in ~ the very same time?

In short, correct — yet if you’ve been feeling sick because that a long time, it’s most likely one cold ~ another, fairly than multiple colds in ~ the exact same time.

“In theory, yes, the is possible to have two epidemic at the exact same time,” Dr. Brenna Velker, a family physician and adjunct professor in ~ the university of west Ontario’s room of household Medicine and also a blogger at the Huffington Post, told “It’s unlikely that someone would have symptoms indigenous both at the same time, though. Each infection has actually an incubation duration — definition the time native exposure to infection, to once you actually construct symptoms. Learning that, it’s in reality pretty common around this time that year to have actually symptoms indigenous one infection, and also one or more sitting around in the body wait to check out if the immune system deserve to fight it off.”

“People will frequently complain that, ‘I’ve been sick for 3 months!’ Velker added. “While they most likely haven’t felt well the whole time, the likelihood is that they’ve been getting one epidemic after another, and they seem to blend into each various other to make one long illness.”

The common cold is easily spread v the air and direct call with contaminated objects — whether that object is a who hand or a surface.

Once infected, a cold can reason those familiar symptoms — sore throat, congestion, runny nose, and sneezing or coughing, periodically accompanied by fatigue.

Anecdotally, many civilization will say they experience more cold symptoms throughout the cold winter months.

Velker called the there room a couple of possible factors for this.

“We absolutely see an ext cases that cold and also flu in the winter months,” she composed in one email. “There space a couple of theories around why this happens. I think that a combination of every one of these factors. First, since it’s cold, world spend an ext time indoors, and also therefore more time around others. Second, the viruses that cause the cold and also flu seem come be much more stable in cold temperatures, meaning that they can stick around longer, and therefore be spread out to much more people. Third, September method back to school. Youngsters are exposed to much more infectious agents the they most likely aren’t immune to, and they bring these back home come share v the remainder of the family. Follow me that same line, earlier to school often way less sleep, an ext stress, and less time to execute the things that we recognize keep us healthy, such together exercise and eating well.”

As Velker points out, cold season is also flu season. Because the 2 ailments frequently share comparable symptoms, it deserve to be challenging to determine whether you have actually a cold or flu.

“In general, v the flu, you feeling really ailing — achy muscles, fever, headache, et cetera,” created Velker. “With a cold, you can have a runny nose, dry cough, and sinus pressure, yet you commonly aren’t bedridden through the symptoms.”

There’s no way to totally protect yourself or your youngsters from coming down through a cold, but mindfulness and cleanliness room the finest methods when it involves limiting the risk.

Because the extremely transmissible virus deserve to survive ~ above a surface ar for hours, that age-old medical advice around washing hand is particularly important.

Velker recommends handwashing, and also added, “All the the time, an ext than you think you require to,” and coughing or sneezing right into your elbow or armpit.

When it comes to preventing the flu, it’s also recommended that everyone get a flu shot during flu season.

It isn’t constantly necessary to view your medical professional if you have a cold, yet it’s crucial to monitor your symptoms.

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“You should visit your medical professional if you have a fever (temperature end 38.5° C or 101.3° F), if you have actually a many pain, or if her symptoms last longer than 10 come 14 days,” created Velker. “Having said that, constantly see a doctor if you room concerned. The worst that can happen is the they will certainly tell girlfriend it’s a virus, and also to rest. Importantly, no a cold no one flu needs antibiotics. Staying off work-related is a little bit trickier. It relies on what your workplace regulations are, what your project entails, and also a totality host of other things. A great rule of thumb, though: if you can’t store your secretions to yourself, you should more than likely stay away from various other people.”

Velker likewise offers some advice for staying healthy and balanced throughout the year: eat healthy, plant-based food, practice regularly, get enough sleep, and also pay attention to your stress levels if making an initiative to minimization them.