Rhinovirus: Definition, Types, Stages, Symptoms, Causes, Prevention, Risks, Diagnosis, Treatments and Tips

Single-stranded RNA viruses of the Picornaviridae family are responsible for most common colds.

Most importantly, viral infections trigger most asthma exacerbations, with rhinoviruses accounting for two-thirds of these. A recent study detected rhinovirus in 82% of children admitted to an emergency room for acute asthma.

Rhinovirus infection has also been associated with nearly half of all exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In addition, evidence has emerged that rhinoviruses are the most common cause of wheezing disease in the first year of life, and rhinovirus-induced wheezing disease in the first year of life is the strongest predictor of subsequent third-year wheezing. Anus.

The exact mechanism by which rhinoviruses induce exacerbations of respiratory diseases is unknown.

Because rhinovirus replication is optimal between 33 ° and 35 ° C, infections were thought to be limited to upper respiratory issues. Until recently, rhinoviruses had not been reliably cultured from lower respiratory secretions.

However, rhinoviruses can replicate in the lower respiratory tract cells even at core temperature, although higher viral yields are obtained at lower temperatures.


In addition, the temperatures of the large airways are 33 ° -35 ° C during breathing at rest at room temperature. Therefore, conditions in the lower respiratory tract may be permissive for rhinovirus replication.

After experimental infection, rhinovirus RNA was detected in lower respiratory tract secretions and epithelial cells, and rhinovirus capsid protein has been found in respiratory tract epithelial cells, albeit sporadically.

These findings suggest that rhinoviruses can grow in the lower respiratory tract, although the degree of rhinovirus replication at these locations is unknown.

Specific individuals may be more susceptible to rhinovirus infection and its complications. Compared to regular volunteers, adults with asthma are more susceptible to rhinovirus infection both in vitro and in Vivo.

The mechanisms of this increased susceptibility are only just beginning to be understood and are related to altered innate immune responses.

A recent study examining the persistence of rhinovirus RNA after asthma exacerbation in children showed that RNA was detectable in 44% of patients six weeks after infection, and persistent virus exacerbations were more severe.

These data suggest that people with asthma are more susceptible to rhinovirus infections. The possibility that host factors contribute to rhinovirus susceptibility warrants investigation.

More than half of cold-like illnesses are caused by human rhinoviruses (HRVs).

These viruses enter the respiratory system when you touch a surface that has been contaminated by the virus and then touches the eyes, nose, or mouth. Once inside the body, rhinoviruses infect cells in the throat, nose, and airways.

The following terms can help you understand rhinoviruses:

  • Respiratory system: the lungs, nose, mouth, and airways that connect them.
  • Cold or common cold: the disease caused by the rhinovirus.

Stages and types of rhinovirus

Rhinoviruses evolve rapidly as they pass from one person to another. There are many different strains of the virus, which scientists classify into three groups called A, B, and C. Since all three types of rhinovirus cause similar symptoms, it is not necessary to know which one you have.

Colds caused by rhinoviruses generally last seven to ten days. However, if your immune system is weak, it may take longer to recover. When the cold first arrives, you may notice a sore throat.

As the disease progresses, you may have a runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. Not everyone experiences every stage of symptoms every time they have a cold.

Symptoms and causes

Rhinovirus causes the following symptoms:

  • Throat pain.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Sneezing
  • To.
  • Headache.
  • Body pain.
  • Babies can also have a fever, which is unusual for adults.

Prevention and risks

Preventing the spread of rhinovirus is based on good hygiene. Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, allowing the virus to enter the body. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

If you have a cold, you can avoid spreading the illness to others by staying home from work or school. Wash your hands after touching your mouth, eyes, or nose. When you need to cough or sneeze, use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose and wash your hands.

Children tend to have colds more often than adults. Protect your children by encouraging them to wash their hands frequently and keep them away from sick people.

Diagnosis and tests

If you visit a doctor with symptoms of rhinovirus infection, your doctor will likely not do any tests. Instead, you will be diagnosed with a cold based on your symptoms.

Doctors can diagnose rhinovirus by taking a swab from the nose and growing the virus in cells in a laboratory. However, this test often takes several days, at which point you may feel better.

Suppose you have a fragile immune system, for example. In the case of HIV or taking immunosuppressive medications, doctors may use the swab to do a faster test called a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

This test can detect rhinovirus quickly. However, it is not necessary for people with healthy immune systems.

Sometimes the symptoms of rhinoviruses are similar to bacterial throat infections. Your doctor may take a swab from your throat to check for strep, which can be treated with antibiotics, drugs that are not helpful against rhinovirus.

Treatment, procedures, and medications

There are no treatments or medications that can cure rhinovirus. Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses. The best thing to do if you have a cold is rest and allow your immune system to fight the rhinovirus.

Many over-the-counter medications can reduce the symptoms caused by rhinovirus.

These include:

  • Nasal decongestants unclog a stuffy nose, making it easier for you to breathe.
  • Cough suppressants help reduce coughing.
  • Expectorants loosen the mucus in your lungs and airways so you can cough.
  • The antihistamines treat runny nose and sneezing.
  • Acetaminophen reduces fever and pain.

Most cold medicines are available without a prescription. However, some are designed for adults and are not suitable for children. Ask your pharmacist for advice on the proper medication for you and your family.

Tips for a healthy lifestyle

Rest is the key to getting over a cold quickly. Try to get as much sleep as possible. Over-the-counter medicine can help you sleep if a cough or other symptoms keep you awake. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

If your nose is blocked, it may help to fill a bowl with hot water and breathe in the steam. The steam can soften the mucus in your nose and sinuses, allowing you to breathe more easily.

Food and nutrition-based approaches to prevention and management

There is some evidence that vitamin C can help prevent colds or reduce the duration of symptoms.

A review of complementary approaches to preventing colds concluded that taking 1 g of vitamin C every day could reduce cold symptoms in a day or two. Vitamin C is generally safe for everyone, although taking more than 10g could cause diarrhea.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about vitamin C supplements to determine if they are right for you.

Vitamin C is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and tomatoes. Eating a diet that includes lots of vegetables and fruits is an excellent way to ensure your body has all the necessary nutrients for a healthy immune system.

What kind of doctors do you see?

If your rhinovirus symptoms are mild, you may not need to see a doctor. Staying home, resting, and drinking lots of fluids will probably help you feel better.

See your GP or primary care provider if you still have symptoms after ten days or very severe symptoms, such as a fever over 100.4 F.

Babies younger than three months should always see a doctor when they have a fever. You can take your child to see their GP or pediatrician.


Illnesses caused by rhinoviruses are usually mild and do not need medical treatment.

By staying home and resting, you can help your body recover from the rhinovirus and prevent the infection from spreading to other people. However, if your symptoms are severe or last more than ten days, don’t hesitate to see a doctor.