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Is The Common Cold Contagious?

Dr. Alejandro Junger Profile Photo

Written by Dr. Alejandro Junger on May 3, 2021

There are a lot of myths surrounding the common cold, so I’d like to provide helpful information on what the common cold is, symptoms it triggers, and ways to relieve those symptoms. As a physician, advisor and partner of Genexa, the first clean medicine company, I believe it’s important for medical professionals to help educate patients on how to navigate these symptoms and find relief.

What is the Common Cold?

Like other viral infections, the common cold is an illness that mainly affects your throat and nose. As uncomfortable as colds can be, they are generally not something to worry about. Yes, you’ll likely feel a little miserable in general, but the good news is that most colds clear up within a week or so.

Various symptoms accompany the common cold, although which ones you experience can differ from one person to the next.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Chest congestion
  • Low-grade fever
  • Feeling tired
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffiness
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing

You typically don’t need to take your child to the doctor for a common cold, although there are times when it’s necessary if symptoms get severe.

If your little one’s symptoms worsen at any time, you should get them in for medical care right away. The most notable concerns include:

  • A fever that continues to increase for more than two days
  • 100.4°F fever in newborns 12 weeks-old and under
  • Ongoing severe sickness that doesn’t go away for more than a week
  • Severe headache or cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Intense tiredness and lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Ear pain

If your child has the usual cold symptoms and is otherwise healthy, Genexa’s Kids’ Cold Crush can help soothe symptoms until your child gets better. In a time when it’s more important than ever to give your children clean medicine, Genexa’s cold-fighting formula contains only clean ingredients that you can trust to relieve symptoms, with no extra artificial additives that don’t serve a benefit.

Let’s dig a little deeper to learn what causes this virus, if it’s contagious, and other helpful facts.

Where Does It Come From?

There are actually many viruses that are known to cause the common cold. However, it’s the rhinovirus that is often to blame. When you or your child gets a cold, it’s because the virus has found its way into their body. But how does it do this?

There are only a few ways, and those are through the eyes, mouth, or nose.

In order to determine how you can prevent this from happening, we first need to look at how the common cold typically spreads from one person to the next.

How Does the Common Cold Spread?

When you touch something that has also been touched by someone with a cold, there’s a good chance that you will contract the virus. For example, if your little one goes to daycare and plays with a toy that’s been in the hands of a child with a cold, the virus can easily spread from the sick child to the toy to your child if your child touches their mouth, eyes, or nose.

This risk can be avoided by having them wash their hands. That’s why it’s so important to practice regular washing and sanitizing if you are around other people and are out and about in public places.

Since children are more likely to touch their faces throughout the day, they are at greater risk of catching colds. Any time there is interaction with other kids, there is also a chance of spreading illnesses around each other, regardless of the time of year, because of this sort of self unawareness.

Many people believe that you can only catch a cold during the fall or winter months, but the truth is that the weather has very little to do with it. Yes, both you and your children are more susceptible to catching colds in the latter parts of the year, but it’s possible to catch a cold year-round.

As such, it’s important to develop healthy hand-washing habits to curb the risk of catching colds and other viruses. With practice and persistence, your children can significantly reduce their chances of getting sick throughout the year.

Is It Contagious?

We know that the common cold can be spread by touching items that have the cold virus on them. But what about just sitting next to a person who is sick? Can you still catch a cold if you avoid touching anything?

Unfortunately, you can. You see, the common cold also spreads through tiny droplets in the air. These droplets can then enter through your eyes, nose, or mouth, resulting in you catching a cold and getting sick with its symptoms.

What’s more, the person with the cold can spread these droplets just by talking. And if they sneeze or cough, there’s a greater likelihood of this spread. Because it’s so easy for the cold to spread from one person to the next, it’s no wonder why so many people suffer from it every year no matter how careful they are.

Children who are six years old and younger are at greater risk of catching a cold. This is especially true if your child spends time in childcare or attends school.

How Long Are you Contagious?

Colds are most contagious three to four days after symptoms begin. However, you can be contagious for as long as three weeks. Once you are exposed to the cold virus, you’ll usually start feeling its symptoms in two to three days.

Because you can be contagious for so long after getting sick, it’s important to play your part and avoid spreading the virus to the best of your ability. This can be challenging, but it’s essential if you want to avoid getting others around you sick.

Remember to wash your hands regularly and wear a face mask when you’re going to be around people. Do note that although a mask can help reduce the spreading of the tiny droplets we mentioned a moment ago, it can’t prevent it completely.

Remember, there isn’t a cure for the common cold, so you have to take action if you want to help stop the spread. Take the time to show your kids how to wash their hands and avoid touching their face, and why it’s so important to do so.

The better you and your little ones understand the common cold and how it spreads, the more likely you can work to avoid it. Eating healthily and getting plenty of exercise will go a long way in combating the common cold by helping to support your body’s natural defenses against it.

Final Thoughts

Even with the utmost care, your little one is still likely to catch the common cold, and probably spread it to your household at least a few times over their childhood. When this time comes, you can trust Genexa to provide clean medicine with ingredients that work, without the artificial inactive ingredients you’ll find in virtually every other OTC drug out there.

As the first clean medicine company, Genexa wants you to know that you can treat your family with clean alternatives to traditional over-the-counter options. Their clean approach to medicine ensures that you and your children get the goodness you need without unnecessary, synthetic inactive ingredients.



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