Outbreak Prevention
Common Cold and Rhinovirus

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Common Cold and Rhinovirus


Each year in the US, there are millions of common cold cases. Common colds are the main reason why children miss school and adults miss work. Adults have an average of 2-3 colds per year and children have even more. There are approximately 200 viruses that can cause the common cold. Rhinoviruses are the most common cause.


Rhinoviruses are members of the Picornaviridae family of viruses, which includes polovirus and enteroviruses, such as EV-D68. Rhinoviruses are often detected in the respiratory secretions (saliva, mucus, sputum) and feces of infected people. It is believed that the most likely route for the spread of Rhinoviruses is from person to person through the passing of contaminated respiratory secretions.


Infections are most likely to occur in the winter and spring; however, anyone can become infected at any time of the year. While it is common to recover from a Rhinovirus infection within 7-10 days, those with a weakened immune system, asthma or respiratory condition, can lead to a more serious illness, like pneumonia. In people with asthma, particularly children, rhinovirus infections are also frequently associated with flare-ups.


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