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Doctor insights on: Common Cold Timeline

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What's the timeline for the development of a common cold?

What's the timeline for the development of a common cold?

You already know!: Colds, which are caused by viruses, range in severity from mild to severe depending on the virus and your degree of immunity. Typically, it incubates 1-3 days after exposure followed by sore throat, nasal congestion and rhinorrhea (running), sneezing, and often ends with some degree of bronchitis. (cough). It may be as brief as 3-4 days but can stretch to 10-14. You've been there!

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
1,396 Doctors shared insights

Common Cold (Definition)

An upper respiratory tract infection, or URI, is a condition where there is a viral infection of the nose or throat, causing redness and inflammation, runny ...Read more


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Sir I have a common cold from my child hood. It affects me when the season. I have an vital exam after 18 days. Tell me how can I kept me fit in time?

Sir I have a common cold from my child hood. It affects me when the season. I have an vital exam after 18 days. Tell me how can I kept me fit in time?

More likely allergy: Most of us will have recurrent & episodic colds through life that produce variable symptoms that last up to 2 weeks. If you have continuous symptoms during various seasons it is more likely due to irritants or air born allergies. Avoiding fumes/smoke/dust & the like can help. A non sedating anti-histamine like loritadine can help. Nasal steroids like fluticazone may also be needed.

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What period of time is someone who has a common cold contagious?

What period of time is someone who has a common cold contagious?

Hard to say: You are probably most contagious for the 48 hours before you show any symptoms. You will stay contagious as long as you have symptoms. You should be careful of what contact you have with others, particularly if they are very old or very young or have an immune problem (including those on chemotherapy).

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Is It possible to be immune to the flu? Never had a flu shot in my life and I can't remember the last time I was sick other than a common cold..

Is It possible to be immune to the flu? Never had a flu shot in my life and I can't remember the last time I was sick other than a common cold..

Just lucky so far: There is no natural immunity to influenza. At least half of all people your age (20) have never had overt influenza, so this is nothing unusual. You have just been lucky so far; either you never caught it, or you had mild symptoms. Flu often is no worse than a common cold. You definitely still should always have recommended influenza immunization every year.

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I had a common cold last week, it's over now. Buti have sputum for 2 days without cough I feel it in my throat all the time?

I had a common cold last week, it's over now. Buti have sputum for 2 days without cough I feel it in my throat all the time?

Post-nasal drip: Sounds like post-nasal drip as a residual of your cold. It should resolve in a few days. You can try some nasal or oral decongestants for a short time if you desire.

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Duration of common cold?

Duration of common cold?

5-7 days: Common colds usually last approximately 5-7 days.

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How can I cure common cold?

How can I cure common cold?

You can't, symptom: Relief only. Cold tips: for sore throat – gargle with warm salt water (1/2 tsp salt in 8 oz of water). * for congestion – saline nose drops or a neti pot. *for anti-inflammatory effect & mobilizing mucus- homemade chicken noodle soup.**for hydration- lots of water. Try clear broth. * add honey & a small amt. Of lemon juice to chamomile tea.

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What causes the common cold?

Many viruses: A variety of viruses (rhinoviruses and others). Unfortunately, although you develop immunity to the cold virus you just had, the next circulating virus will be different, so your immunity does you no good.

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How too treat a common cold?

How too treat a common cold?

Symptom relief: Cold tips: for sore throat – gargle with warm salt water (1/2 tsp salt in 8 oz of water). * for congestion – saline nose drops or a neti pot. *for anti-inflammatory effect & mobilizing mucus- homemade chicken noodle soup.**for hydration- lots of water. Try clear broth. * add honey & a small amt. Of lemon juice to chamomile tea.

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Best tablet for common cold?

Best tablet for common cold?

Varies: I usually recommend breaking up the different ingredients of cold medicines to pick the one for the main, worst symptom. Stuffy noses respond to Pseudoephedrine (sudafed) phenylephrine (sudafed pe), oxymetazoline (afrin- 3 days max!). Coughs do better with Guaifenesin and detromethorphan (mucinex dm). Achiness and pain and sore throats with Ibuprofen (motrin) or tylenol (acetaminophen) (acetominophen.).

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How to deal with common cold?

How to deal with common cold?

Cold Tips: Cold tips: for sore throat – gargle with warm salt water (1/2 tsp salt in 8 oz of water). * for congestion – saline nose drops or a neti pot. *for anti-inflammatory effect & mobilizing mucus- homemade chicken noodle soup.**for hydration- lots of water. Try clear broth. * add honey & a small amt. Of lemon juice to chamomile tea.

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How can I fight a common cold?

Rest warm & humid: The common cold is self-limited, and is effectively dealt with by your own immune system, and it usually resolves in 5 to 7 days. In order for your immune system to work efficiently, you will need adequate rest and sleep. Cold viruses thrive in low humidity and cold temperatures. They can't survive at high temp and high humidity. You should keep warm, drink plenty of fluids, and try a humidifier.

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How do you diagnose common cold?

Clinically diagnosed: Your doctor will make the diagnosis of a common cold based on your signs and symptoms by performing a history taking and a physical exam. The common cold generally involves a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. You may also have a sore throat, cough, or headache.

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How to stop common cold relapse?

How to stop common cold relapse?

Prevention: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching mouth, nose or eyes with unclean hands. Cough into crock of elbow. Stay away from people who are ill.

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How long could common cold last?

The common cold: According to the mayo clinic, colds usually last one to two weeks.