Flu

Colds: course & prognosis

.
.
Unsplash.com

Most colds in healthy adults are mild, self-limiting and resolve on their own within 4 to 10 days.

In children, however, the virus itself can cause middle ear infections with associated complications. Infection with certain cold viruses such as respiratory syncytical virus (RSV) and parainfluenza virus can also cause pneumonia in infants.

In adults and older children with pre-existing medical conditions, a cold can precipitate worsening of the illness, such as an asthma attack in those with asthma or a flare-up of chronic bronchitis in smokers.

Seek medical attention if:

  • Your or your child’s symptoms have lasted longer than 10 days without improvement.
  • When symptoms that are severe or unusual are present (e.g. persistent fever or high fever in children, onset of shortness of breath or severe coughing, or poor intake of fluids or milk in infants).

Any infant younger than 3 months of age with a fever should be seen by a healthcare professional right away.

Reviewed by Cape Town-based general practitioner, Dr Dalia Hack. March 2019.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
32% - 9439 votes
No
68% - 20038 votes
Vote