Common implies that there’s a single ordinary pathogen to blame for your runny nose, coughing, and mild fatigue. Actually, there’s a huge array of viruses—more than 200 of them—that induce colds, each with its own means of evading your body’s defenses. For this reason alone, it’s unlikely that a catchall “cure for the common cold” will ever be found. These are crazy cold symptoms you probably never knew about.
When you get sick, your body doesn’t want to do anything other than tackle the virus. If you do ignore the symptoms and go about your normal routine, the cold can have an even more negative impact on your health—and your brain. In a study of nearly 200 people published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, researchers found that those with colds reported poor alertness, a negative mood, and psychomotor slowing—their thought processes were muddied, and their reaction times were slower than those of healthy folks. (This is how long a cold lasts.)