Definition of Rhinovirus

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Rhinovirus: a virus type of the Picornavirus family that causes many common colds and upper respiratory infections. Less commonly, these viruses may cause bronchiolitis or pneumonia. Rhinoviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses and over 100 types identified. Rhinovirus infection is easily spread from person-to-person. Symptoms of rhinovirus infection usually develop within 12-72 hours of exposure and include sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, hoarseness, headache, ear pressure, sneezing, and nasal irritation. Fever, when present, is typically low-grade. Symptoms of Rhinovirus infection usually last for 7-11 days and resolve on their own. Treatment includes rest, hydration, and decongestant or antihistamine medications.


A Cold or The Flu? How to Tell the Difference See Slideshow
Longo, D.L., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2012.

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