What causes the common cold, and how is it spread?
Colds are caused by viral infections. Over 200 different viruses can cause cold symptoms of varying severity. Viruses that cause colds are spread from person to person through tiny droplets of mucus that enter the air from the nasal passages of infected persons and are inhaled by others. Colds can also be spread by touching surfaces that have been contaminated by contact with infected persons and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
While it is impossible to completely prevent the spread of colds, there are steps you can take to reduce your and your family's chances of becoming infected with a virus that causes colds.