Sedentary Work Exerting up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time, but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and other sedentary criteria are met.

Light Work Exerting up to 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force occasionally and/or up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of force frequently, and/or negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. Physical demand requirements are in excess of those for Sedentary Work. Light Work usually requires walking or standing to a significant degree. However, if the use of the arm and/or leg controls requires exertion of forces greater than that for Sedentary Work and the worker sits most the time, the job is rated Light Work.

Medium Work Exerting up to 50 (22.7 kg) pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 25 pounds (11.3 kg) of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of forces constantly to move objects.

Heavy Work Exerting up to 100 pounds (45.4 kg) of force occasionally, and/or up to 50 pounds (22.7 kg) of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force constantly to move objects.

Very Heavy Work Exerting in excess of 100 pounds (45.4 kg) of force occasionally, and/or in excess of 50 pounds (22.7 kg) of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force constantly to move objects.

Job Classification

In most duration tables, five job classifications are displayed. These job classifications are based on the amount of physical effort required to perform the work. The classifications correspond to the Strength Factor classifications described in the United States Department of Labor's Dictionary of Occupational Titles. The following definitions are quoted directly from that publication.

Sedentary Work Exerting up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time, but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and other sedentary criteria are met.

Light Work Exerting up to 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force occasionally and/or up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of force frequently, and/or negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. Physical demand requirements are in excess of those for Sedentary Work. Light Work usually requires walking or standing to a significant degree. However, if the use of the arm and/or leg controls requires exertion of forces greater than that for Sedentary Work and the worker sits most the time, the job is rated Light Work.

Medium Work Exerting up to 50 (22.7 kg) pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 25 pounds (11.3 kg) of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of forces constantly to move objects.

Heavy Work Exerting up to 100 pounds (45.4 kg) of force occasionally, and/or up to 50 pounds (22.7 kg) of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force constantly to move objects.

Very Heavy Work Exerting in excess of 100 pounds (45.4 kg) of force occasionally, and/or in excess of 50 pounds (22.7 kg) of force frequently, and/or in excess of 20 pounds (9.1 kg) of force constantly to move objects.

Common Cold


Related Terms

  • Adenovirus
  • Cold
  • Coronavirus
  • Coryza
  • Head Cold
  • Nasopharyngitis
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus
  • Rhinitis
  • Rhinovirus
  • Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
  • URI

Differential Diagnosis

Specialists

  • Family Physician

Comorbid Conditions

Factors Influencing Duration

Severity of symptoms will determine the length of disability in a previously healthy person. If symptoms are mild, there may be no loss of time from work. If the symptoms are severe, or complications occur, disability may be longer.

Medical Codes

ICD-9-CM:
460 - Nasopharyngitis, Acute
465.8 - Upper Respiratory Infection, Acute, of Multiple or Unspecified Sites; Other Multiple Sites; Multiple URI
465.9 - Upper Respiratory Infection, Acute, of Multiple or Unspecified Sites; Unspecified Site
472.0 - Rhinitis, Chronic

Overview

The common cold is an acute and self-limited illness caused by any of more than 250 viruses that invade the mucous cells of the nose and disrupt their normal functioning; once infection occurs, the immune system develops antibodies to the specific strain, so any subsequent common colds are the result of a different strain. The most common subtype of virus that causes a common cold is a group that is found in the nasal passages, rhinoviruses; less common viruses include coronavirus, adenovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The illness is characterized by a runny nose (rhinorrhea), nasal congestion, sneezing, mild fatigue, mild fever, watery eyes, and sore throat, with or without a cough. Symptoms of this illness are confined to the upper respiratory tract and do not involve the lower respiratory tract.

Common cold viruses are transmitted through hand contact with an infected person; common cold viruses can also spread through the air and are transmitted from airborne particles expelled when someone with a common cold coughs or sneezes. Researchers have shown that exposure to cold temperatures, fatigue, and sleep deprivation has little or no effect on the development of a common cold, nor do factors such as enlarged tonsils. After exposure to a common cold-causing virus, symptoms usually appear within 48 to 72 hours.

Common colds generally last from 5 to 7 days, with about 25% of individuals having symptoms that continue for up to 2 weeks.

Incidence and Prevalence: Cough is the third most common cause for an office visit in the US. The common cold is the third most common diagnosis in office visits (Hsiao). In a single year in the US, individuals suffer an estimated 500 million common colds. Common colds account for somewhere between 85 and 165 million days of work lost per year (Fendrick).

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



Causation and Known Risk Factors

The main risk factors for the common cold include age, immunity and exposure. The very young have immature immune systems that are not resistant to the viruses that cause common colds. The young are also exposed more frequently by spending time with their peers. Frequent hand washing can mitigate these exposures. With age, immunity is developed to more of the viruses that cause the common cold. Individuals of all ages are susceptible to common cold viruses when exposed, so good hygiene practice is the best defense against this illness. Factors that increase an individual's susceptibility to the common cold include psychological stress, smoking, lack of exercise, and poor nutrition and hydration (Cohen).

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



Diagnosis

History: Common symptoms include dry, sore, or scratchy throat; runny or stuffy nose; cough; congestion; sneezing; sinus blockage; mild headache; mild body aches; and malaise.

Physical exam: Mild fever (99° F to 101° F [37.2° C to 38.3° C]) may be present. Examination may reveal reddening of the throat or nose with swelling of these mucosal tissues. Lymph nodes in the neck may be enlarged and tender.

Tests: Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and symptoms; no laboratory tests or x-rays are necessary for diagnosis.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



Treatment

The infected individual should be isolated as much as possible to avoid contaminating others. Without treatment, common cold symptoms normally disappear in about 7 to 10 days. Because no cure for the common cold exists, only symptomatic treatment is available: bed rest, increased fluid intake, inhaling steam (through a humidifier or a hot shower) to ease congestion, gargling with warm salt water (to relieve inflammation, discomfort, and swelling of the throat), saline gel (for irritated nasal tissues), and analgesics (for headache and fever).

Nonprescription common cold preparations (nasal decongestants and cough suppressants) may relieve some common cold symptoms, but will not cure or shorten the duration of the illness.

Since antibiotics do not kill viruses, these drugs should not be used to treat routine common colds. Antibiotics should be reserved for treating any bacterial complications of common colds such as sinusitis, pneumonia, or ear infections.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



Prognosis

The prognosis for the common cold is excellent. Individuals can expect symptoms to disappear in approximately 7 to 10 days and a complete recovery to pre-illness health. In individuals with chronic respiratory conditions, the decreased immunity caused by the common cold may put these individuals at greater risk for developing secondary bacterial infections, such as sinusitis, bronchitis, or pneumonia. In these cases, a protracted recovery period may be expected.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



Complications

The great majority of common colds run their course without complication. The most common complications of common colds are secondary bacterial infections (sinusitis and ear infection). Individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions (asthma or chronic lung disease) are more susceptible to secondary bacterial infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



Ability to Work (Return to Work Considerations)

A day of bed rest may be necessary for a particularly bad common cold. Usually, individuals may continue to work despite common cold symptoms. Individuals with common colds should be encouraged to take precautions not to infect other workers, including staying as isolated from others as possible, using tissues and discarding them properly after use, and washing hands frequently. As with other respiratory illnesses, exposure to inhaled irritants such a dust, gases, smoke, and cold air should be minimized or avoided.

Risk: In an immunocompromised individual, working with heavy public contact, indigent or incarcerated populations, or in health care settings, may place the individual at increased risk of further or recurrent infection. An individual with symptom onset within the last 24 to 48 hours is in a more infectious state and should avoid working in settings with immunocompromised individuals. Some risk can be mitigated by frequent hand washing, gloves, or masks.

Capacity: During active infection, capacity will be reduced related to the type and severity of the illness.

Tolerance: Milder infections may be managed with over the counter analgesics, which may permit an earlier return to work in recovering individuals.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



Maximum Medical Improvement

14 days.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



Failure to Recover

If an individual fails to recover within the expected maximum duration period, the reader may wish to consider the following questions to better understand the specifics of an individual's medical case.

Regarding diagnosis:

  • Does individual have a runny nose? Congestion? Sneezing? Sore throat? Cough?
  • Does individual have a mild fever or fatigue? Enlarged lymph nodes?
  • Is the lower respiratory tract involved?
  • Does individual have additional symptoms? Have they lasted more than 2 weeks?

Regarding treatment:

  • Was individual isolated as much as possible to prevent spread?
  • Is individual following a proper treatment regimen (rest, increased fluids, analgesics)?
  • Is individual a smoker?

Regarding prognosis:

  • Can individual's employer accommodate any necessary restrictions?
  • Does individual have any conditions that may affect ability to recover?
  • Is individual immunocompromised?
  • Have any complications developed such as a secondary bacterial infection, and are these receiving appropriate treatment?

Source: Medical Disability Advisor



References

Cited

Cohen, S., D. A. Tyrrell, and A. P. Smith. "Psychological Stress and Susceptibility to the Common Cold." New England Journal of Medicine 325 (1991): 606-612.

Cohen, S., et al. "Types of Stressors That Increase Susceptibility to the Common Cold in Healthy Adults." Health Psychology 17 (1998): 214-223.

Fendrick, A. M. , et al. "The Economic Burden of Non-Influenza-Related Viral Respiratory Tract Infection in the United States." Archives of Internal Medicine 163 (2003): 487-494.

Hsiao, C. J. , et al. "National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2007 Summary." National Health Statistics Reports (2010): None-None.

General

Davis, Charles Patrick. "Colds." eMedicine Health. Ed. John P. Cunha. 10 Jul. 2012. WebMD, LLC. 9 May 2014 <http://www.emedicinehealth.com/colds/article_em.htm>.

Source: Medical Disability Advisor






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