Do you like having a cold? What a silly question, of course you do. Everyone loves having a runny nose and sneezing all the time, lying in bed all day feeling feverish and weak.
Do you remember when you were a kid and feigned sickness so you could skip school? You wish you could have read this article back then and you’d have known how to catch a cold on purpose.
Jokes aside, if you are not a masochist and just want to get better or prevent a cold, you can find useful information below. Just do the complete opposite if you’re looking to catch a cold.
What Is the Common Cold?
Before you catch a cold, maybe it would be best to know as much as you can about it. Over 200 types of viruses can cause the common cold, which manifests in minor throat and nose infections. Almost 50% of all colds are caused by different types of rhinoviruses.
The duration depends on the age and medical condition of the patient. Older people and children are more prone to developing a severe type of cold and complications.
Younger children may get the common cold up to 12 times a year, while adults only get it two to four times a year. Of course, there are just average numbers which may or may not apply to you. Do not be jealous if someone gets a cold more often than you.
You are in luck because the common cold is very contagious. In most cases, it spreads through fluid droplets which contain cold viruses. If you get in contact with such a droplet, you will likely catch a cold.
Symptoms of a Cold
Common cold symptoms are similar to flu symptoms, but the flu usually feels worse and lasts longer. After the cold viruses get all cozy in your body, which can take a day or two, you will start to feel the following symptoms:
- Your nose will be runny all the time. Do not blow your nostrils all the time if you do not want your skin to get irritated.
- Obstructed breathing canals
- Constant sneezing
- Impairment of the senses of smell and/or taste
- Irritated throat, often accompanied by coughing
- Low fever
- Mild headaches
- Voice changes, deeper and raspy
While the previously mentioned symptoms are common, here are some rare ones:
- Prolonged fatigue
- Low appetite
- Pink eye
- Aches in various muscles
When a person is dealing with a cold, sometimes it’s possible for bacteria to infect the sinuses and ears as well. These are called secondary bacterial infections, which are easy to treat it with antibiotics unless the patient is severely immunocompromised.
Sometimes you may come in contact with cold viruses without even knowing it because you don’t feel any symptoms. This is not uncommon and it has to do with the autoimmune system. It can be a sign of good overall health.
What Can Cause a Cold?
Except for the aforementioned group of rhinoviruses, a cold can be caused by the following viruses:
- Human metapneumovirus
- Human respiratory syncytial virus
- Human parainfluenza virus
- Coronaviruses adenovirus
- Various enteroviruses
You get a cold when the viruses overcome your immune system. The thing that stands in the way of the viruses is mucus, a gooey fluid made in the membranes of the throat, mouth, and nose. The mucus functions by capturing anything bad that you inhale, like bacteria, viruses or dust.
Once the mucus fails, the viruses penetrate cells and override it, multiplying and attacking adjacent cells.
Who Is at Risk?
People who are more likely to get a cold fall into the following categories:
- Young children, aged six or under
- People whose immune system is undeveloped or weakened.
- People who smoke.
- Elderly people and older adults over the age of 60.
You are more likely to catch a cold during the fall or winter. Kids are at a higher risk because they go to school, which is a great breeding ground for viruses. Being near an infected person greatly increases the chances of getting a cold.
How to Catch a Cold on Purpose
Finally, you’ve reached the most interesting part of the article. If you are wondering how to catch a cold on purpose, you will soon get some answers. Because there are so many groups of viruses that can cause the common cold, there is no effective vaccine for it. That is great news, but here are some pro tips and tricks on how to ensure you get infected:
- Do not ever wash your hands – Try to avoid washing your hands whenever possible, especially before eating or after making contact with others. Germs and viruses are most commonly spread by touch – what better way to get infected than receiving a firm handshake?
- Do not clean your home – On a side note, maybe it is for the best if you do not wash anything. Especially the surfaces in your bathroom and kitchen.
- Eat yummy junk food and avoid vitamins – Fruit and vegetables contain plenty of vitamins which are good for the immune system. Make sure to avoid eating them at all costs. Eat greasy, processed fast food instead, which can make you more vulnerable to cold viruses.
- Invite your sick friends or colleagues over – Whenever you find out any of your friends have a cold, make sure to invite them over for some fun activity. It’s recommended that you tell them the truth of what you’re trying to accomplish. But you can dress it up by saying that you’re trying to share the suffering of those less fortunate, perhaps as taught by your religion or something.
- Do not use tissues or handkerchiefs – This should be self-explanatory. Only nerds use those and wash their hands after sneezing in them.
Got Any Spare Cold
Now you know all about the common cold and the ways you can get infected. It is up to you to decide whether to follow the instructions to catch a cold or do the opposite and avoid it.
Hopefully you had fun reading this article while learning about the world’s most common type of infection.