Common Cold

The common cold is an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus.

Viruses inflame the membranes in the nose, throat, and upper airway.

There are more than 200 viruses that can cause the common cold, and anyone at any age can be infected.

What are the symptoms?

  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Watery eyes
  • Sore throat

How is it spread?

Colds are spread through the air when an infected person is coughing, sneezing or talking and by direct contact with objects, such as toys or keyboards that are contaminated with viruses.

Colds are diagnosed and treated by primary care providers, and treatment is aimed at symptom relief.

Can it be prevented?


  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Cough or sneeze into tissues and promptly dispose of them.
  • Do not share eating utensils.
  • Avoid contact with sick individuals.

Should the sick individual be isolated?


Should facilities do special cleaning?

Special cleaning is not necessary.

Routine cleaning with EPA approved products is recommended.

For more information, call the Genesee County Health Department at (810) 257-1017.

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