How long does a cold last usually?

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 On average, a common cold lasts roughly 7–10 days. This, however, may vary depending on the individual.

Some people only have symptoms for a few days, however others may have cold symptoms for up to two weeks at a time. Everyone's immune system is unique.

Lifestyle variables, such as whether or not a person gets enough sleep or smokes, can either aid or hinder healing.

Some symptoms may persist even after the virus has been eliminated from the body. For example, persistent mucous or a cough may persist for a week or longer after the illness has cleared up.

How long does a child's cold last?


In other youngsters, symptoms may continue longer. However, in most situations, they will only last 7–10 days. Children may have a more difficult time dealing with symptoms since it is difficult for them to recognize the origin of their symptoms or deal with them on their own.

Colds are more common among children. Children's immune systems have not developed immunity to as many infections as an adult's immune system has.

Children are also more susceptible to colds because they are less conscious of preventative behaviours such as sneezing into their elbow or routinely washing their hands.

Being in close contact with people, such as when attending preschool, increases the chance of catching a cold.

How long does a cold last usually?


A person is most contagious on the day before symptoms appear and during the first 5 days after being ill.

Cold symptoms do not appear immediately when a person catches a virus. This is the incubation period of the virus.

The common cold has an incubation period of 1–3 days. Even if they are not experiencing symptoms, the individual may spread the virus on to someone else during this period.

Strictly speaking, if a person has cold symptoms, they can transmit them on to another person. However, the person may be most contagious the day before symptoms appear and throughout the first 5 days of illness.

When a sick person coughs, sneezes, or blows their nose, droplets or vapor are released, which spreads the cold. Their mucus and saliva can enter another person's airways and cause an illness.

Because the cold virus may survive outside the body for a few hours, a person can spread a cold to others by sharing things such as face towels, plates, or silverware.


While adults typically experience two to three colds per year, the authors of a 2014 reviewTrusted Source highlight that children under the age of two can have up to six colds per year.

The most common reason for absences from school and work is a common cold.

When should you see a doctor?
It is advised to contact a doctor if cold symptoms do not improve or worsen after 10 days.
A doctor can also assist in the treatment of severe or uncommon symptoms.

Some people, such as babies, cancer patients, persons living with HIV, and adults over the age of 65, are at a higher risk of complications from colds and flus.

Anyone in these categories who has flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, or body pains should visit a doctor.

Home cures and treatment

Drinking enough of water will help you handle cold symptoms.
The common cold has no cure, and the body can normally fight off the virus without the need for medical attention.

A cold is a viral ailment, thus antibiotics will have no impact. Antibiotics should not be used to treat a cold. According to the CDCTrusted Source, antibiotics will not only not help treat viral infections, but they may also cause harm in both children and adults by making it more difficult for the body to fight off subsequent bacterial illnesses.

Cold symptoms, on the other hand, may be irritating and inconvenient. There are several easy strategies to treat these symptoms while the body heals from the underlying illness, including:

Drink enough of fluids: Drink plenty of water and other clear drinks to keep your cells healthy and flush away pollutants.

Using over-the-counter (OTC) cold treatments: Many OTC cold medications can help relieve particular cold symptoms, such as a stuffy or runny nose. Before providing OTC drugs to children, always read the directions and consult with a doctor.

Taking pain remedies: Over-the-counter pain relievers including ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) may help alleviate certain symptoms.

Warm drinks, such as herbal teas or soup, might help ease a scratchy, painful throat. It may also aid in the breakdown of mucus and the relief of congestion.

Gargling warm salt water may also help ease the itching and agony of a sore throat. Asking small children to attempt this is not a good idea since they may not be able to gargle.

Using a humidifier: A vaporizer or humidifier may give moisture to the air, which can help reduce congestion and make coughing up mucus easier.

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The common cold is fairly common. Although it is difficult to prevent, it should not stay long. Most colds will cure completely in 7–10 days, with just minor symptoms lasting for a few days thereafter.

In most circumstances, assisting the body in fighting the cold is the best treatment. Taking over-the-counter medications or attempting home cures may help a person manage their symptoms.

Anyone who experiences symptoms that are persistent, severe, or worsening should consult their doctor.

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