What happens to your body when you get a cold?

The average person gets a cold 2-3 times a year.  Colds are caused by viruses, such as Rhinovirus, but there are over a 100 types of viruses that can cause cold symptoms.

Once we get a virus, the first symptoms include a burning feeling in the nose or throat, and then sneezing, congestion, and fatigue.

The lining of our nose and throat typically  produces over a liter of mucus a day.  Normally, the fluid is swept to the back of the throat by tiny hairs called cilia.  But when you get a cold, the mucus changes consistency and becomes thicker, and a different, greenish color. We used to think the green color meant an infection that needed antibiotics, but it is actually just a part of the cold process, caused by a type of white blood cells called neutrophils rushing to the lining of our nose to fight infection.



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