How long is my cold contagious?

Rachel Schoutsen
How long is my cold contagious?
How long is my cold contagious?

Unfortunately, it is a lot easier to pass along the common cold than we think.

Most people are not aware that we can be contagious one day before we even feel sick.

Our ability to pass along the cold lasts about five to seven days in adults and almost two weeks in children.

“Children have a lower pre-existing immunity to the cold compared to adults because of a less developed immune system,” explains pharmacist Victor Wong. “As such, children aren’t able to control viral shedding and replication as well as adults, leading to a longer duration of being contagious.”

RELATED: Is it a cold or the flu? Pay attention to these signs

When you are feeling under the weather, a single sneeze can release 40,000 droplets of your virus! When someone comes in contact with these droplets, the virus spreads. That is why it’s so important to clean surfaces, wash hands and avoid contact with others when you are experiencing the common cold, or even worse, the flu.

How to stop the spread:

  • Avoid touching your face
  • Isolate from others until symptoms have passed
  • Wash hands frequently or use disinfectant
  • Do not share drinks or utensils
  • Get a flu shot

Staying healthy will help anyone enjoy the winter months a little more and that starts with a strong immune system.

“Eat healthy, exercise and drink lots of liquids,” recommends Wong. “It’s also important to steer clear of large crowds, it’s likely someone will be sick and this is how a virus spreads.”

Be sure to watch the video above for additional expert advice.