The common cold is an illness that everyone experiences in their lifetime. Adults typically get a cold a few times each year; children tend to get colds far more often. While the symptoms of a cold vary from case to case, a low-grade fever is relatively standard. When a high-grade fever accompanies a cold, there could be something else going on.
Typical Common Cold Symptoms
A cold might come with one symptom or all of them. Nevertheless, experiencing cold symptoms is never fun. When you have a cold, identifying the symptoms can help you to determine the necessary treatment plan. The common cold involves symptoms such as:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Minor body aches
- Low-grade fever
A low-grade fever is considered a temperature higher than average but lower than 101.3 F in adults. For children, a low-grade fever is up to 100.4 F. Any temperature below these numbers is not a concern with the common cold. However, if you experience a higher fever for a few days, it may be best to see your doctor.
Causes of a Fever
A fever is your body’s way of burning off bacteria, viruses, and other unwelcome germs in its most simple terms. When it comes to the common cold, your body is attempting to get rid of the virus and develops a fever as a result. You may have picked up a cold from a sick person that sneezed, coughed, or talked to you. It’s also possible that you got the cold from touching something a sick person touched.
When you encounter something that has a sick individual’s germs on it and then touch your nose, mouth, or eyes before washing your hands, you could catch a cold. While your body fights the cold, you may notice a low-grade fever. This is normal and not completely avoidable but can be better prevented by frequent handwashing, plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, and disinfecting items you are going to touch.
Treating the Common Cold
In most cases, the common cold just has to run its course. Some treatment options can make your sick time more comfortable. For example, steam or a humidifier can help decrease congestion. If you have a sore throat, a warm beverage with some honey can be soothing. Your fever can be tamed with acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as can a headache. You can also use other over-the-counter medicine to tackle the symptoms of a cold. There is no reason to wait it out without taking any action to make yourself better.