June 24, 2017

Common Cold

How is the common cold transmitted?

The common cold is spread either by direct contact with infected secretions from contaminated surfaces or by inhaling the airborne virus after individuals sneeze or cough. Person-to-person transmission often occurs when an individual who has a cold blows or touches their nose and then touches someone or something else. A healthy individual who then makes direct contact with these secretions can subsequently become infected, often after their contaminated hands make contact with their own eyes, nose, or mouth. A cold virus can live on objects such as pens, books, telephones, computer keyboards, and coffee cups for several hours and can thus be acquired from contact with these objects.

How long is the common cold contagious?

In general, the common cold can be contagious anywhere from one to two days before the symptoms begin up until the symptoms have completely resolved. However, the common cold is typically most contagious during the first two to three days of illness.

3/13
Reviewed on 2/13/2017