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Colds. How long do you remain infectious?

(11 Posts)
Blu Thu 24-Sep-09 09:23:15

During the pouring nose / sneezing phase?
During the thick stuffed up stage?
For the duratuion of the endless hacking cough afterwards?

fortyplus Thu 24-Sep-09 09:32:54

Droplet infection ie coughing and sneezing. But then when you get to the snotty stage people won't catch it by being in the same room as you but by direct contact with the virus. ie you blow your nose then leave traces of the result on the door handle. Next person to use the door handle rubs their eyes and cold virus travels via tear ducts to nasal passage.

Blu Thu 24-Sep-09 09:33:03


fortyplus Thu 24-Sep-09 09:33:36

Oh... and apparently cold virus can survive up to 5 weeks on hard surfaces - yuk!

Blu Thu 24-Sep-09 09:34:38

Oh, sorry, fortyplus...was making a slow cross-post bump!


Blu Thu 24-Sep-09 09:35:03

O, bloody hell!

fortyplus Thu 24-Sep-09 09:36:26

If someone coughs or sneezes near you then you minimise chance of catching cold by breathing thru your mouth for a few secs (tho of course this can have effect of making you look a bit daft!) If you have an itchy eye then use the back of your hand to rub never your fingers.

Since I started doing this I hardly get a cold. Can't remember having one in about the last 4 years despite sharing the house with 3 gruesome males who seem to get them regularly!

fortyplus Thu 24-Sep-09 09:37:43

My grandad got a free 'Guide to the common cold' with a multi pack of Kleenex!

Hope you stay cold free now you know! grin

AvrilH Thu 24-Sep-09 09:49:50

I've just been googling:

"...the common cold is "contagious" between 24 hours before onset of symptoms until 5 days after onset. Like everything else this varies depending on the organism, but that's a pretty safe estimate. This period of communicability was determined by taking nasal washings of experimentally infected volunteers. There is also the possibility of healthy carriers, though this appears to be rare with rhinoviruses."

AvrilH Thu 24-Sep-09 09:50:53

The above makes me feel less guilty about my endless hacking cough smile

fortyplus Thu 24-Sep-09 21:12:52

You are contagious for the 5 days after onset but if you wipe your bogies on a door handle the virus can still be lurking for ages afterwards!

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