7 doctors weighed in:

Let's say I just caught a common cold. What can I expect, and for how long? When will I stop being contagious?

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Albert Pizzo
Family Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: 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, sore throat, headache and general malaise. The infection can come on 2-3 days after exposure (incubation period) and last anywhere from 4 to 14 days. You are infectious as long as you are shedding the virus secretions.

In brief: 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, sore throat, headache and general malaise. The infection can come on 2-3 days after exposure (incubation period) and last anywhere from 4 to 14 days. You are infectious as long as you are shedding the virus secretions.
Dr. Albert Pizzo
Dr. Albert Pizzo
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Dr. Michio Abe
Internal Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: 5-7 days and 3 days

Symptoms of the common cold appear usually after 1 to 3 days after exposure to a cold virus.
Colds typically last 5 to 7 days, with residual coughing up to three to four weeks. A sufferer is most infectious within the first 3 days of the illness.

In brief: 5-7 days and 3 days

Symptoms of the common cold appear usually after 1 to 3 days after exposure to a cold virus.
Colds typically last 5 to 7 days, with residual coughing up to three to four weeks. A sufferer is most infectious within the first 3 days of the illness.
Dr. Michio Abe
Dr. Michio Abe
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