What Is the Rhino Flu?

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Cough syrup is a common treatment for the rhino flu.
Cough syrup is a common treatment for the rhino flu. (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Matt Cox)

"Rhino flu" is a slang term for the common cold, which often leaves you miserable. Unlike the real flu virus, the rhino flu usually allows people to continue performing their daily tasks at work and at home. Despite how common rhino flu is, many don’t know the facts about it.

Background

The term "rhino" derives from "rhinovirus." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rhinovirus is the most common of the more than 200 cold viruses in existence.

Symptoms

Rhino flu affects the upper respiratory tract: nose and throat. Common symptoms are runny nose, scratchy/itchy nose and throat, cough, congestion, sore throat, watery eyes, headaches, slight fever and body aches.

Treatment

There is no cure for the common cold. Typical treatments include the use of pain relievers and fever reducers, cough syrups, expectorants and decongestants.

Prevention

The Mayo Clinic advises the following preventive measures: wash your hands frequently, use tissues for sneezes and coughs, keep things around the house like countertops clean, don’t share utensils or drink from someone else's cup and avoid prolonged contact with people who have a cold.

Considerations

If you have a cold, you should limit your contact with others to prevent further spread of the virus. According to the CDC, since the rhino flu comes from a virus and not bacteria, antibiotics won’t have an effect on it.

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