Are you wondering if the common cold is contagious? The answer is yes, it is. While a cold can last for 7-14 days, a person is usually the most contagious when they are the most sick, that being from day two to day four of their cold. Is a cold contagious only during those few days? Unfortunately the answer is no.
When is a cold contagious? A person who has contracted a cold virus can be contagious for two to three days before he shows any symptoms and for two to three days after his symptoms end. That means a person with a typical cold could potentially be contagious for two weeks.
How is a cold contagious? It is spread in two ways. One is by touching a surface that has cold germs on it and the other is by inhaling germs that are suspended in the air after a sneeze or cough.
If you have a cold, keep in mind, you are your most contagious during day two to four when you feel the worst, so try to minimize your contact with others during that time, especially young children, the ill, and the elderly. Also, cough into your elbow to keep germs off your hands, or use a napkin and throw it away immediately.
If others around you are sick and you are afraid they are contagious, be cautious of the things you touch. What they touch or cough or sneeze on could be infected. This includes their skin, doorknobs, toys, napkins, utensils, glasses, and countertops. Avoid putting your fingers in your mouth or around your face and wash your hands often.
While the common cold is contagious, and it seems to spread quickly among families, workplaces, and schools, you can take steps to protect yourself and reduce its transmission by practicing good hygiene.
WebMd – http://www.webmd.com
HealthCentral – http://healthcentral.com
Better Medicine - http://www.bettermedicine.com