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By Dave Hall

For all you hypochondriacs out there, Dave Hall continues his regular look at a some of the more unusual medical conditions, as well as some you thought you knew all about.


Condition Acute viral nasopharyngitis is a viral infectious disease of the respiratory system. With an estimated one billion cases in the United States alone every year, the cold is the most common of all human diseases, with adults catching one 2 – 4 times a year on average and kids as many as 12 times per year. The virus enters the cells of the lining of the nose and throat and multiplies rapidly once it’s there making us feel grotty for about a week.
Contagion – You know the drill, once someone’s got it, we all get it – remember the “fresher’s ‘flu” at university? It’s highly contagious but a sufferer is most infectious within the first three days of the illness.
Danger of death – The common cold itself is rarely life threatening, but there are some complications that can occur, such as pneumonia, which are. 
Incurability? There is no known cure for the common cold, so treatment is limited to making you feel as comfy as possible while you’re coughing and spluttering. 
Likelihood of getting time off work Despite traditional remedies such as more Vitamin C, chicken soup, Echinacea and zinc tablets all being talked about, nothing will beat water, Paracetamol and plenty of rest – tell your boss that, and stress the p-l-e-n-t-y bit.

Brag-ability Hardly any, and if you’re male don’t even bother, you’ll be ridiculed by all around you, especially the ladies branding you a “man-‘flu sufferer” – a fate worse than death.
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Overall ridiculousness Always a bit annoying to be the one constantly sniffing at the back of the class, cinema, boardroom, but don’t fret – it will pass. And remember it is physically impossible to catch a common cold from being cold, it’s a proven fact.

More conditions to come soon:

    Dracula’s Teeth Syndrome, SARS and more.

Find more curious conditions in Doctor Doctor. If you can't wait for the next Doctor Doctor, then why not find a Phunny Phobia to keep you going?

Photo: CDC Public Health Image Library

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