In this series We describe the six most important cold viruses and explain what makes them so special.

Who actually washes their hands as regularly and thoroughly as they did during the pandemic? Even if it only provides limited protection against the coronavirus because Sars-CoV-2 spreads primarily through the air, washing hands prevents many other infections very effectively. For example, infection with adenoviruses: They are often transmitted via so-called smear infections – i.e. when you touch your mouth, nose and eyes after shaking your hand with an infected person or touching an object that has viruses on the surface. About a week later you often fall ill a harmless cold, although not uncommonly accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. But conjunctivitis in the eye also occurs, as well as – much less commonly – serious diseases such as meningitis.