Colds are commonly profiled as wintertime illnesses that strike during freezing, miserable temperatures. For instance, a parent or grandparent may have once told you to put on a jacket before stepping outside into chilly weather to avoid catching a cold. While it’s true that colds are quite common during the winter months, they’re also surprisingly widespread in the summertime.
The symptoms of a summer cold are essentially the same as those of a winter cold. They typically involve:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Sinus pain or pressure
- Muscle aches
There is one noteworthy difference between winter and summer cold symptoms, however. Summer colds are likely to cause a sudden fever, while winter colds typically aren’t associated with fevers.
What Causes Summer Colds?
The common cold can be pinned on more than 200 different viruses. Most colds that develop in the winter are caused by rhinoviruses—a chilly weather-loving group of germs that thrive from September through May. As summer ushers in warmer weather, enteroviruses begin to take hold and produce summer colds.
An enterovirus is a widespread and highly contagious type of virus that can cause summer colds as well as conjunctivitis (pink eye) and polio, although vaccines have eradicated polio in most developed countries. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that enteroviruses are responsible for 10 million to 15 million illnesses every year, usually between the months of June and October.
Anyone at any age can catch an enterovirus. In fact, many people with enterovirus infections (roughly half) feel fine and never develop noticeable symptoms. Still, summer colds and other illnesses caused by enteroviruses are more frequently seen in children than adults—the average adult catches two to three colds every year, while kids are known to develop between six and 10.
How to Prevent Summer Colds
As just mentioned, colds are highly contagious and a somewhat inevitable part of life. But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless in the fight against germs—there are several simple steps you can take to reduce your exposure to viruses and stay healthy year round:
- Avoid sharing utensils, lip balm, and cosmetic products with others.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap, especially after touching commonly used surfaces or shaking hands with others.
- Make sure your hands are clean before touching your face.
- If you have a child, encourage them to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly.
- Avoid crowded areas and swimming in public pools if you have a compromised immune system.
Treatment for Summer Colds at PhysicianOne Urgent Care
Summertime sniffles don’t have to ruin your fun when PhysicianOne Urgent Care offers cold treatment on a walk-in basis. Accredited and certified by the Urgent Care Association (UCA), our physician-led locations throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York are open during extended hours 365 days per year. And with a 24/7 telemedicine service, PhysicianOne Urgent Care makes it simple to access the medical guidance you need, right when you need it.
We’ve got you! To learn more about PhysicianOne Urgent Care’s services, hours, locations, or approach to treating summer colds, browse our website or give our friendly professionals a call at 1-860-650-3848.