Dr. B.

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About a Cold and the Flu

The "common" cold is aptly named. It is something nearly everyone encounters. The U.S. population experiences nearly a billion colds annually. Children usually have about 6-10 colds per year which, by the way, builds their immunity for their lives as adults. Adolescents and adults have 2-4. Adults over 60 typically have fewer than one cold per year.

VIRUSES THAT CAUSE THE COMMON COLD

VIRUS

% OF CASES 

Rhinovirus

30 to 50

Coronavirus

10 to 15

Parainfluenza virus

      5

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

      5

Adenovirus

    <5

Enterovirus

    <5

Unknown

20 to 30

Influenza, more commonly called "the flu," is much more serious and much less common than the common cold. Each year 35-50 million people in the U.S. get the flu. Most people recover. But the flu still causes complications which lead to 100,000 hospitalizations and more than 50,000 deaths each year.

For more information on causes, treatments, and prevention of cold and flu viruses download a copy of Dr. Benjamin’s Cold and Flu Information Packet.

Download Information Packet