Common Cold Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ

Reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP, on November 6, 2017
The Common Cold Common Cold FAQs
NEXT: How to Prevent the Common Cold

The common cold is one of the most common illnesses in the world.

The common cold is a viral infection and is one of the most common illness worldwide, It leads to more visits to health care providers and absences from school than any other illness. Adults get about 2-3 colds each year, and children may get even more.

True False

What causes the common cold?

Colds are caused by different types of viruses, with rhinoviruses causing the majority of colds. Other possible types of virus that can cause colds include adenoviruses, coronaviruses, enteroviruses, parainfluenza viruses, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Rhinoviruses can cause other conditions as well as colds, such as sinus infections, pneumonia, ear infections, and sore throats. They can also trigger asthma attacks.

Viruses Bacteria A weak immune system None of the above

Medically speaking, the common cold is an upper respiratory infection.

The common cold is medically referred to as a viral upper respiratory tract infection. Symptoms of the common cold may include cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, aches, and low-grade fever.

True False

Is the common cold contagious?

The common cold is contagious and is spread from person to person. A person with a cold virus infection is contagious for about 24 hours before symptoms appear, and for up to about 5 days after symptoms develop.

No Yes Only in specific circumstances Researchers are not sure.

What is the cure for the common cold?

There are remedies that can bring relief of cold symptoms, but there is no cure for the common cold. Home remedies to relieve symptoms include rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking over-the-counter pain and fever medications. Antibiotics are not effective against colds since they do not work against viruses.

Antiviral medications Antibiotics The common cold vaccine There is no cure for the common cold.

What is the medical term for the common cold?

Doctors use the term "upper respiratory infection" when describing a cold.

Upper respiratory infection Lower respiratory infection Rhinovirus Nasal congestion

Hand washing is one of the best possible ways to prevent colds.

Good handwashing practices are an excellent way to prevent colds. It's important to wash hands often and well with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer product if soap and water are not available. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, as this can cause cold viruses to enter your body. Avoiding close contact with people who are sick with a cold can also help prevent your contracting the infection.

True False

Sources: Sources

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