Virus that cause 50% of common cold infections
Nikolay's Genetics Lessons
Published at : 06 Feb 2021
Rhinovirus is the main culprit behind the common cold. Illness usually starts with a runny nose, sore throat, and sneezing and may go on to include headache, cough, and muscle aches. Most rhinovirus infections are mild, but they can sometimes lead to bronchiolitis and pneumonia – especially in babies.
Signs and Symptoms
Rhinovirus can bring on all of the familiar symptoms of a cold: runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, headache, cough, and body aches. In some people, it can cause a mild fever, and may also lead to ear infections or sinus infections. In babies and young children, lung problems such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia sometimes develop.
How It's Spread
Rhinovirus spreads easily from one person to another. The spray from a sick person’s cough or sneeze is a big contagion risk – and so are handshakes, high-fives, and nose-tweaks from that person. (Anyone with rhinovirus is likely to have “germy” hands from rubbing or blowing their nose.) And since rhinovirus can live on surfaces for a while, anything that has been touched by the infected person – clothes, toys, utensils, furniture – can also transmit the virus.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Providers usually diagnose rhinovirus by taking a medical history and doing a physical exam. If illness is severe, the provider may choose to verify the diagnosis by testing a sample of mucus.
As with many other viruses, treatment for rhinovirus usually means managing the symptoms until the infection clears. (There’s no commonly used treatment that acts on this group of viruses.) However, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, or other complications of rhinovirus infection may require medication and monitoring.
Rhinovirusviral infectioncommon cold