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how long is a common cold contagious

A 27-year-old female asked:
Dr. Roy Arnold
46 years experience Internal Medicine
Up to 10 days: Peak viral shedding is on days 2-5. Once symptoms have resolved, patients are no longer infectious. Incubation period is typically 24-48 hours, but ma ... Read More
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A 54-year-old member asked:
Dr. Ronald Krauser
51 years experience Rheumatology
See details: As long as you are symptomatic.
A 27-year-old female asked:
Dr. Louis Gallia
44 years experience Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
First 3 days.: During the first three days that you have cold symptoms, you are contagious.
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A 28-year-old female asked:
Dr. Albert Pizzo
59 years experience Family Medicine
Common cold: The common cold is caused by over 200 different viruses and is the commonest infection in the world. Symptoms vary: runny nose, congestion, cough, sor ... Read More
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35 thanks
A 34-year-old female asked:
Dr. Robert Killian
27 years experience General Practice
Viral Illnesses: There may be a variety of answers to this question, but early is always thought to be the time one is most contagious. So, two days before you are at ... Read More
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A 46-year-old member asked:
Dr. SG Erman
Dr. SG Erman answered
34 years experience Family Medicine
7-10days: 7-10 days, worst time is usually days 2-4.
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A 47-year-old female asked:
Dr. Ziad Akl
Dr. Ziad Akl answered
30 years experience Infectious Disease
Few days: Usually you are contagious a day or two before symptoms start and then up to a week after.
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3 thanks
A 56-year-old member asked:
Dr. Diane Minich
36 years experience Family Medicine
24 hr virus: Contagious for several hours before symptoms till symptoms are resolving.
A 32-year-old female asked:
Dr. Clarence Grim
56 years experience Endocrinology
Post infect fatigue: What is post-infectious fatigue and how common is it after a bad cold or respiratory infection? How is it treated? ANS: It is common for a few days af ... Read More
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A female asked:
Dr. Jennifer Atkins
10 years experience Pediatrics
Several weeks: The causes of herpangina vary but generally children are contagious up to a week before there even symptomatic and can still spread the virus several ... Read More
A 39-year-old member asked:
Dr. Michael Ein
47 years experience Infectious Disease
Wait: The zinc in coldeze may shorten the duration of a cold by a day or so. Symptomatic treatment will make you feel better. Throat lozenges for sore thr ... Read More
A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Helaine Levine
45 years experience Pediatrics
Colds arn't cured: The average common cold last 10 days measures such as increasing fluids getting appropriate rest blowing your nose sucking on candy using a humidifie ... Read More
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5 thanks
A 54-year-old member asked:
Dr. Bernstein Joel
59 years experience ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
Several weeks: In a healthy 48 year old, your immune system should eradicate a viral upper respiratory tract infection in about 2 to 3 weeks.
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A 56-year-old member asked:
Dr. Bernstein Joel
59 years experience ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
About 7-10 days: A viral pharyngitis lasts about 7 -10 days and is treated symptomatically with fluids, vitamin c and perhaps gargles. It should not be treated with a ... Read More
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A 56-year-old member asked:
Dr. Sue Ferranti
28 years experience Internal Medicine
Difficult to answer: There are many different viruses that can cause bronchitis, all with different incubation periods and different time frames for viral shedding. But, i ... Read More
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A 51-year-old member asked:
Dr. Patrick Ramsey
26 years experience Maternal-Fetal Medicine
5-7 days: 5-7 days.
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A 45-year-old member asked:
Dr. James Ferguson
45 years experience Pediatrics
Most ~ 8days: General viral sheading in RSV lasts 3-8 days in most; in some with complications they could shed for 4-6 wks. Droplet isolation(use of mask) & good ha ... Read More
A 52-year-old female asked:
Dr. James Ferguson
45 years experience Pediatrics
Depends: Strep can be carried in a contagious state indefinitely.Once treated, the spread is minimal after 24 hrs. Some people can pick up and carry the germ w ... Read More
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A 52-year-old member asked:
Dr. Heidi Fowler
24 years experience Psychiatry
Mononucleosis: It is quite contagious. You are contageous when you are actively ill and can remain contagious for a number of months later.
A 23-year-old female asked:
Dr. Kathleen Gilmore
25 years experience Urgent Care
Rest, fluids, OTC: Rest and fluids and patience are the first line for a viral sore throat. If there is pain, over the counter Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen can be taken. I ... Read More
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A male asked:
Dr. J. Lawrence Dohan
56 years experience Dermatology
Irrelevant: There is no crisp answer to such a question because the length of contagion varies from virus to virus and person to person. RELAX. We are exposed to ... Read More

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

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