The Common Cold Essay Research Paper The
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The Common Cold Essay, Research Paper The common cold has been plaguing humankind since the beginning of human existence. Even in these advanced times, there is no vaccine or cure. There are many symptoms that accompany the common cold. Some of these infamous symptoms are a runny nose, caused by inflammation of the nasal tissues, resulting in over production of mucus to trap the virus, and coughing. there are two different kinds or types of coughs that are common with colds. The first, is the less common dry hacking cough, these kinds are more likely to keep you up at night and just plainly annoy you than do any thing else. The other more common type of cough is the kind whose purpose is to expel mucus and or phlegm. These help to combat the cold by helping to expel the mucus that has the virus trapped in it. Other symptoms include a slight tingle or tickle in the back of the throat that usually turns into a sore throat and sneezing. Both of these symptoms are was for your body to help expel phlegm or mucus from the body. Another symptom is swelling of the face and or neck usually accompanied by pain around the eyes, nose, and forehead. This pain and swelling is caused by the introduction of the virus into your upper respiratory tract, therefore causing mucus building up in your nasal passages and then in your sinuses causing them both to become impacted. Many people complain of hoarseness, aches and pains in their joints, fever of about 101 degrees, and general aches and pains all over their bodies (Anthanasoid). There are at least two hundred different kinds of viruses that are known to cause what is known as the common cold, and an unknown number of undiscovered causes (Nourse 56). The virus who is usually responsible for a cold is called a rhinovirus, and it accounts for around thirty to fifty percent of all colds that afflict the adult part of the human population. The virus that is secondly responsible for most common colds, is called a coronavirus, and it is only different form a rhinovirus by a margin of few select proteins in it’s molecular structure. The rhinovirus is so small that it can only be measured in milimicrons, one milimicron is about 1/25,000,000 of an inch, that means that about five hundred rhioviruses can fit on the point of a pin. That fact makes the rhinovirus and the coronavirus categorized in the medium territory. The virus cannot reproduce by itself. In fact scientists cannot even decide whether to classify it as an animal or a plant, because it is so primitive. To reproduce, the virus must first latch onto a nearby cell and inject it’s genetic makeup into the cell. It then tells the cell to make as many viruses as it can, using the chemicals inside of the cell. The cell keep producing viruses until the outer cell wall explodes releasing all of the new viruses into the bloodstream. The best part about many of the viruses that cause colds is that they are self limiting. That means that after the virus reproduces so much it just stops and dies. In the case of common colds, the virus runs it’s course in about ten to fourteen days. Because it kills itself, the infected person’s immune system doesn’t realy have to do anything except maybe keep it in their upper respiratory track. There have been documented cases when a cold actually inadvertently killed someone. In these rare cases, the viral infection lead to a bacterial infection in the middle ear and therefore lead to death. This is why if your ears hurt, you should see a doctor immediately (Knight 10-15, 23-25). There are many misconceptions about the spread of the common cold. For one thing, a person who doesn’t cover their mouth when coughing and or sneezing, is not necessarily spreading their cold says John Poppy (104). Another article in the "Mayo Clinic Health Letter" stated that coughing and sneezing is one of the things that spreads the cold virus the most.