How Long Is Common Cold Contagious: Prevention Of Spread Of Cold

Come October and there is feeling of anticipatory anxiety amongst many people for “common cold’’, an acute viral rhinitis that makes you sneeze so often. Actually, there are so many agents responsible for common cold, it becomes difficult to pin point and single them out. The symptoms similarity between all the germs causing cold is almost same, whether it is influenza virus, adenovirus, coronavirus or respiratory syncytial virus. And for this reason, we suffer from cold repeatedly. Our immune system also finds it difficult to recognize these bugs efficiently or act against them effectively.

In half of the cases, the reason for common cold remains unidentified.

The spread of common cold has been widely accepted to be as a result of direct person to person contact. Inhaling the airborne droplets that spread in thousands as you sneeze or cough is the second most reasonable accepted cause. The indirect spread is through the hands which come in direct contact with the contaminated objects from the spit or nasal mucus of the infected individual. Shake hands with your sneezing partner or use her phone and then rub your eyes, be prepared as the next sneeze is yours.

For How Long Are You Contagious With Common Cold?

The incubation period (the time when the germ enters your body till it shows the symptoms) always differs for each causative virus; it may be as short as 12 hours to as long as 6 days. Generally, it takes 24 to 48 hours to make you realize that the germ has made its entry with a first sneeze.

If you want to know how long a cold is contagious, the answer is; it becomes contagious 1 day before it manifests the first symptom, a sneeze or cough or watering of nose whatever it may be and remains contagious for 5 to 7 days.

As it is said earlier, the infective period may not remain same for every virus, it may vary from one to another, but what we have assumed is reasonably valid. The infective period was confirmed after taking the nasal secretions of the individuals who had been infected by the virus. There are many healthy people who carry the virus without suffering from the symptoms. But it is not with rhinovirus, once infected you ought to get the sneeze, running nose etc.

How To Prevent Spread Of Colds?

Is it possible to prevent the spread of cold? The answer is yes, stay at home and rest in the bed with a cup of warm green tea in your hand. If necessary tell me, I’ll write a sick note to your higher ups. Take necessary precaution of covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

Wash your hands now and then, but at the same time don’t use them to cover your mouth while you cough or sneeze, use a towel or handkerchief. It’s nice to see you do, what you were taught in school, cover your mouth with handkerchief. The better way is to sneeze into the fold of your elbow; your hand will remain free from the germs.

If you want to prevent cold, you have to stay away from bars, crowded places that include ships or a theater where lot of people gather, they sneeze and cough. Last but not the least take a vaccine shot for flu, especially in the month of September or October every year. Damn this bug, it changes each year so the yearly vaccine.

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