About Colds: The Facts
A cold - also called catarrh, coryza, and infectious rhinitis - is a viral infection of the nose and throat. Doctors call it a "self-limiting" condition, which is one way of saying that it only lasts so long and goes away on its own.
Up to 90 % of colds are caused by over 200 different viruses. The most common type are the rhinoviruses, which cause about 40% of colds in adults.