While pundits and analysts battle it out to decide whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump triumphed in the first televised presidential debate of the year, social media has decided the most eye-catching, or ear-catching, facet of the contest was Donald Trump's sinuses. The hashtag #TrumpSniffle was born.

As Clinton and Trump clashed in New York over tax, foreign policy and personality the billionaire and property tycoon was heard to sniffle audibly. Immediately the Twittersphere responded, claiming Trump may be suffering from a cold.

"I am worried about @realDonaldTrump's health – are the sniffles symptoms of something more serious? #sniff #debatenight," one Twitter user Scot Charton commented.

Others mocked Trump saying he may been taking illegal drugs. "Dunno, but @realDonaldTrump's campaign team may be debating as to which line to choose: pneumonia or coke!? #sniff," one Twitter user wrote.

Reuters reported a campaign aide rebuffed the claims Trump had become ill, explaining that the 70-year-old did not have a cold.

The irony of Trump's possible illness was pounced upon by the Twitterati. Trump has consistently attacked Clinton's health saying in last night's debate she lacked the stamina to be president. His campaign capitalised on a brief fainting spell the former first lady suffered at the 9/11 commemoration services in New York. The Clinton campaign said she had come down with pneumonia.

A series of mock twitter accounts sprung up as the sniffling mounted. The handle @TrumpSniff has gained 3,083 followers and tweeted pictures of bulk Kleenex packets a parody of Donald Trump's well-known campaign hat which normally reads "make America great again" emblazoned with the phrase "make sniffs great again".

Away from the distraction of the sniffles, on Facebook, conversations about Trump made up 79 percent of debate chatter, while Clinton's share of the conversation was 21 percent.

A CNN poll has declared Clinton the winner of the debate with 62% of voters who watched the debate saying they thought she had won. Twenty-seven percent said they thought Donald Trump won.