Colds (viral upper respiratory infections)

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Colds are caused by viral infections in the nose and throat. Learn about the causes, duration, prevention and treatment of viral upper respiratory infections.

Key points

  • Symptoms of the common cold include runny nose, coughing, sneezing and fever.
  • Colds are caused by a virus which is easily spread from person to person.
  • If your child has a cold, keep them comfortable and give lots of fluids.
  • The best way to reduce the spread of colds is by washing hands often.
Last updated: October 7th 2023