Beware of cold viruses even during summertime

July 24, 2013 by Bradford Schwarz

Is it just me or do summer colds seem much worse than winter colds? And why do we get colds during the summer anyway?

The sun is out, windows are open and almost everyone is outside and active. It just doesn't seem like we should be getting a "" when it is hot.

So let's set the facts straight concerning summer colds. Although not as common during the summer months, colds are caused by viruses and can occur any time of year. This year alone there will be more than 1 billion colds in the United States. Adults acquire an average of two to four colds per year, and young children will suffer from an average of six to eight colds per year. That's a lot of down time suffering from .

There are a variety of cold-producing viruses such as the rhino-, corona- and parainfluenza that cause upper-respiratory infections primarily during the winter months. However, a new virus is introduced during the summer months.

The pesky enterovirus, which can often lead to complex and prolonged , spreads by coughing and sneezing, and by the fecal-to-oral route, often meaning that proper hand-washing technique has not been followed. The enterovirus can demonstrate the usual cold symptoms of runny nose, hacking cough, headache; low grade fever, and watery eyes. However, additional symptoms of diarrhea, along with and rashes may appear with the enterovirus.

So what do you need to know concerning a summer verses winter cold?

Winter cold viruses tend to make you feel really sick, and then after feeling miserable for five to seven days, it's pretty much over, whereas, summer colds just seem to go on and on.

One must also consider that if the symptoms act greater than the typical cold, you may have manifestations of an allergy or potential .

While we've already established that a cold is caused by a virus, are an to allergens such as grass, pollen, dust, and dander from pets. A few distinguishing features of an allergy are itchiness of the mouth, eyes and throat. Also, the type of mucous drainage is often an indicator of a cold verses an allergy. A yellow mucus is typically seen with a cold, whereas, a thin, clear/ watery mucus drainage is usually seen with allergies.

A cold requires symptomatic care (rest, fluids, chicken noodle soup and early use of zinc supplement may shorten the symptomatic period) while an allergy requires an antihistamine medication (several non-sedating medications are available over the counter), nasal irrigation with sterile saline spray or a neti pot.

Persistent or increasing symptoms, fever, severe sore throat or unusually bad headaches necessitate an evaluation by your primary care provider.

We are all exposed to cold viruses no matter what time of year. Help protect yourself by practicing proper hand washing, heading off cold symptoms with a zinc supplement, and staying active.

Explore further: Medical myth: Feed a cold, starve a fever?

Related Stories

Medical myth: Feed a cold, starve a fever?

July 8, 2013
This winter, most of us will catch a cold. Our kids will probably catch at least two or three. We all know you are supposed to feed a cold and starve a fever. But does it really make any difference if they eat or not?

Vitamin C is beneficial against the common cold

February 13, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—According to an updated Cochrane review on vitamin C and the common cold, vitamin C seems to be particularly beneficial for people under heavy physical stress.

Does your child have seasonal allergies or a cold?

May 15, 2012
(HealthDay) -- It can be difficult during the spring months for parents to determine whether their children have a cold or seasonal allergies, but an expert outlines how to tell the difference.

What does my child's sneeze mean?

April 26, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Though much of the beauty of spring is its vivid colors, rosy-red eyes and noses aren’t usually considered a welcome part of the landscape. Runny noses, sneezing and coughing often trumpet spring’s ...

Arm yourself against colds and flu this fall

September 26, 2011
The first few breezes of fall bring with them not only the promise of a welcome change in season, but also the threat of colds and flu.

How to treat – and not treat – a cold

January 7, 2013
A sniffle here, a cough there and suddenly a cold has come. What to do? Here's how to treat - and not treat - a cold.

Recommended for you

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.