Feeling under the weather? The symptoms of a summer cold and how to treat them


The Queen is suffering from a summer cold. Here is some more information about the common health complaint.

- Is a summer cold the same as a winter cold?

Not quite. Although they have similar symptoms, a summer cold is more likely to be caused by the cold virus, enterovirus, which prefers the milder conditions of summer. During the winter it is usually rhinovirus, which is more prevalent
when it is cold. The winter version is characterised by being severe but short-lived, while in the summer it will more often linger, while it also has a habit of recurring.

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- What are the symptoms of a summer cold?

Summer colds are often mistaken for hay fever. A runny nose, sneezing, cough, congestion and sore throat are common ailments, as in the winter, along with a raised temperature, aching joints and tiredness.

- Why do we get colds?

During the winter people tend to spend more time in close proximity in confined spaces, but there are also reasons why summer colds spread. Going on long-haul flights is a sure-fire way of becoming exposed to other people's germs, while
air conditioning can also dry out noses and throats, meaning enterovirus is more likely to take lodge. Another theory is that people are more active during the summer months.

- How should you treat a summer cold?

By drinking plenty of water, getting rest and sleep, and by gargling salt water to relieve a sore throat. Sufferers can also ease aches or lower a temperature with painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.