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The common cold is among the most prevalent—and quite possibly the most annoying—viral infection that human beings contract. We tend to be stricken with this virus most often in the spring and fall, yet this virus is present year-round. One of the most common places to catch the virus? At work!
According to the Center for Disease Control, common colds account for the most missed time at work and at school, with an astonishing 22 million days lost each year due to uncomfortable symptoms that make it difficult to carry on daily activities. Contrary to popular belief, the common cold is not a single virus, but a cluster of up to 200 different viruses that can all cause sneezing, stuffy noses, scratchy throats, and a general feeling of malaise.
How is a common cold “caught”?
Catching a cold is a surprisingly simple process; viruses that cause common colds are spread by tiny droplets of mucus that hang in the air after a person coughs or sneezes. Cold viruses are also caused by making contact with surfaces that have been touched by others who have a viral infection. If you fail to wash your hands and face regularly, you may be at increased risk for developing a cold.