Overview of cold symptoms

Most often it creeps up with an increased symptom: the common cold. It occurs frequently, especially in the cold season. It is therefore no wonder that more than a third of Germans catch a cold at least once a year. Typical cold symptoms are what constitutes a flu-like infection. But be warned: What are the signs that you really have a cold?

Typical cold symptoms: sore throat

start mostly sore throat Like a slight throat in the throat. This sometimes develops into more severe pain and difficulty swallowing. Sometimes there is hoarseness.

How a sore throat affects, among other things, depends on the pathogen. Viruses typical of the common cold can infect different areas of the throat. If symptoms of a sore throat appear, you will feel the pain when swallowing centrally in the back of the mouth and throat. It also causes hoarseness pharyngitis Disease said no.

The hoarseness that sometimes occurs with the common cold occurs primarily when the larynx or vocal cords are affected. Then it is accompanied by a sore throat and can lead to a temporary loss of the voice.

Like many other cold symptoms, a sore throat is not only possible with these infections. It can also accompany other diseases such as scarlet fever, diphtheria, or glandular fever, which also begin with cold-like symptoms.

inhale As a sign of a cold

A runny nose is a common cold symptom. When the body cools down on its outer parts such as the head or feet, stuffy noses are especially common. This is why colds are more common in the winter months than in the summer.

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Coronaviruses and rhinitis – the most common cold viruses – make it much easier to get stuck in the nose. Since infected people also have to sneeze a lot, viruses can also spread excellently. With each sneeze, people with a cold excrete a droplet that contains the virus, which can contaminate surfaces. Sometimes viruses enter directly into the respiratory tract of the next person.

The severity of cold symptoms depends on the so-called viral load, that is, the number of infectious particles. On the other hand, it depends on the state of the file immune system Everyone. It can stay with a slightly blocked nose or progress from a classic runny nose to a stuffy nose before the cold goes away again. This combination ultimately explains a wide range of colds – from barely noticeable symptoms to obvious illness and several days in bed.

Cold symptoms: cough

Coughing is a protective mechanism of the body. With high pressure, it conveys to the outside what the body wants to give up. This also applies to secretions and cold viruses that collect in the airways during infection. As a cold symptom, the cough is partly dry (without sputum) and partly productive (with sputum). In addition, it usually heals by the end of the cold.

Like a sore throat, a cough is not only a typical symptom of the common cold. It also occurs in other infectious diseases or in asthma, cancer and heart disease. So if your cough persists after an infection or doesn’t go away with your other symptoms, you may not have a cold. Hence it is certainly the case of the physician who must find the cause in order to treat the symptoms appropriately.

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Fever as cold symptoms

Fever supports the immune system, which becomes more active as the body temperature increases and is better able to defend itself against invading germs. That is why it is one of the classic signs of the common cold. From a body temperature of 37.5 ° C, doctors talk only about a high temperature. A body temperature above 38°C is considered a fever.
Fever is one of the symptoms by which a cold can be distinguished from the true group of viruses or influenza. While it increases slowly and often remains mild in the case of cold viruses, it is identical to the real virus flu Often suddenly and can rise to more than 39 ° C.

However, a fever is not the only symptom of a cold or the flu. For a doctor, a frequent or very high fever is a special case. This is likely a serious condition that needs to be diagnosed and treated appropriately. This also applies when the typical cold period of about nine days has passed.


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Pharmazeutische Zeitung online: Wipe your nose when you have a cold. URL: https://www.pharmazeutische-zeitung.de/nase-frei-bei-schnupfen-130240/ (14.02.2022).

German Professional Association of Otolaryngologists H. Fifth: Colds – causes and risks. URL: https://www.hno-aerzte-im-netz.de/krankheiten/schnupfen/ursachen-und-risiken.html (09.02.2022).

Health Knowledge Foundation: Fever. URL: https://www.stiftung-gesundheitswissen.de/wissen/fieber/hintergrund (09.02.2022).

Health Knowledge Foundation: Cold or Flu? URL: https://www.stiftung-gesundheitswissen.de/wissen/erkaeltung-oder-grippe/das-ist-der-unterschied (14.02.2022).

HKF: Cold: Background. URL: https://www.stiftung-gesundheitswissen.de/wissen/erkaeltung/hintergrund (09.02.2022).


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