A cold is most contagious three to four days after the symptoms have started to appear. But this virus may still infect others for up to three weeks or depending on how long your cold would be.
Nobody likes getting sick. Most especially if you catch a common cold that may make others keep their distance from you since this virus just like the flu, has been considered contagious.
A cold virus is already common to everyone. Since one may catch a cold for a few times in a year. This virus doesn’t just come as a simple cold but it is associated with other symptoms that you will surely find irritating.
The symptoms of cold usually appear one to two days after exposure to the virus.
According to research, a cold virus usually starts as a burning feeling either in the nose or in the throat. As the virus develops, you would then get a runny nose, frequent sneezing, and would even give you the feeling of unusual tiredness. This is the time where the virus is most contagious. So during this phase, you might want to have a break and rest at home first.
Other symptoms of colds include sore throat, watery eyes, stuffy nose, and mucus draining from the nose to the throat.
What Causes Colds?
As emphasized above, a cold is composed of tiny microorganism which we consider the virus. Over 200 kinds of these living things could infect you but the most common virus that is associated with flu is the rhinovirus.
Other viruses that could also cause discomfort and misery in an individual are influenza, coronavirus, parainfluenza, and a lot more.
How Does the Cold Virus Spread?
As mentioned above, the cold virus may still be contagious for up to three weeks – or even beyond that. Meaning, even if you have already recovered from the virus, you can still infect other people.
Usually, the virus spreads through air or on surfaces where the virus could attach themselves. Since colds are often accompanied by sneezing and coughing, those could also be ways wherein you can spread the virus. Even breathing could be another way on how you can spread the virus on air. That’s why individuals who are contagious on the said days are not advised to touch or make close contact with anyone since being close with them could already infect others.
How Long Does the Cold Progress?
As the cold started, it would usually make your nose release clear watery secretions. After a few days, you may start developing a mild cough as the secretions start to become thicker and greener in color. After a week fews, the symptoms could get more severe. Most especially if you have bronchitis or asthma, expect the symptoms to worsen.
Do I Need Any Medical Attention for the Cold?
Depending on the immune system of a person, a cold may last for a few days only or even weeks. Mostly, a common cold could only last for at least 3 days. However, it may extend for a longer period if there are factors that could trigger the symptoms.
Since this virus is already common to all, cold isn’t something that you should really worry about. This is because most colds also go away on their own. However, experts claim that colds could only be dangerous for newborn babies.
In order to combat colds, there are a lot of treatments you can consider for faster relief. Although some individuals would prefer waiting for the cold to clear on its own. This is because common colds may disappear within four to ten days after you have been exposed to the virus.
The only situation wherein your body gets more prone to other bacterias is that while you’re sick, colds wear down your body’s resistance – making you a victim of other conditions that may interact while you have colds.
When to Call a Doctor?
If symptoms worsen over time, then that would be the sign you should seek consultation from a medical expert.
When you get to the doctor, he/she will only be conducting examinations to check your throat, lungs, and ears. Your doctor will have to do the following in order to know which proper medication or treatments will be recommended for you.
If your doctor suspects infection in the throat, then you will be prescribed some antibiotics. There are also possibilities where you could have pneumonia that’s why your cold worsen. If this is the case, then you will have to do a chest X-ray first.
Severe symptoms you should watch out for are the following:
- Hard time swallowing
- Have an earache
- Temperature exceeds 101 degrees
- Have a stiff neck
- Is sensitive to lights
- Sore throat lasts more than 3 days
- Pregnant or nursing
- Newborn or infant has colds
Although cold is already pretty common since there could be inevitable factors such as the weather which caused the cold virus, there are still some ways you can do to prevent the said cold.
One way would be to make sure you get enough vitamins and nutrients to keep your immune system strong. As a result, your body could be more resistant to any virus or illnesses. You may also get vaccines for common illnesses and viruses to lessen chances of catching any bacteria or infection.
Keep in mind that your lifestyle as well as your diet will be contributing factors on how you protect yourself from sickness.