The contagious cold

Make sure to wash your hands regularly to help not spread your cold germs and to help prevent picking up someone's germs.

Make sure to wash your hands regularly to help not spread your cold germs and to help prevent picking up someone else’s germs.

I have a cold.

And man, it sure makes me tired.

I have skipped the gym since Thursday evening, when I thought I might be getting sick. I don’t exercise when I am sick as I personally believe my energy should be reserved for getting back to healthy. But that’s not what this post is about. (I wrote about that before if you are interested, go here.)

I had heard that a cold is contagious before symptoms even appear.

According to MedTV, the period when you’re most contagious is when your symptoms are at their worst — Day 2 to Day 4 of the cold. You’ll become less contagious as the cold symptoms improve.

Go Ask Alice says, studies show that, if you contract a cold, you can transmit it to others one or two days before your symptoms appear, and up to four or five days after first being exposed to the virus.

According to Discovery Health, if you think about how a virus works, it makes sense that we’re most contagious when our symptoms are at their worst. … So, when are you most contagious? Most experts agree that adults with a cold or the flu start being contagious about a day before they start experiencing symptoms. … As a general rule, people with a cold are most contagious about three days after their initial exposure to the virus.

The various information doesn’t quite say the same thing. But it sounds like colds are contagious right before the symptoms show up (not much we can do about that) and for a few days once the cold hits us.

The best way not to spread your cold is to stay home, rest, have lots of fluids and wash your hands a lot. The best defense to not catching a cold is to wash your hands and wash them frequently. Carry hand sanitizer in your purse, bag, keep in your car and at your desk at work.

We are all gonna get sick at times. It’s life. But exercising regularly and eating healthy will help limit the colds.

One of the articles I read while doing my research said adults get a cold two to five times a year. Five times? That seems like a lot to me. I probably get two a year. My last cold was in December and what I referred to as a mini-cold. It never became a full-blown cold.

Besides being careful to not spread your contagious cold you also need to take care of yourself when you are sick. That’s why I canceled my plans for the weekend, spent most of my time on the couch watching TV and napping and why I have decided to stay home from work tomorrow.

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  • Alicia

    Feel better. I woke up Tuesday morning with a sore throat. During the day it gradually turned into a small cold. I left work early at 4pm to rest. By the end of the night I started to feel sick. Wednesday morning I couldn’t go to work since I felt so ill. I stayed in bed all day. Thursday I woke up feeling slightly better, but not enough to get up so I stayed in bed all day. Friday I woke up still feeling a little weak. Late afternoon I felt better and decided to run some errands. After the trip to the post office I was wiped out and decided to go home. No grocery shopping for me. I went straight to bed until Darren came home. I woke up Saturday feeling like my old self. I have a hard time believing that I was out sick for 3 days. I generally don’t really get sick or if a do it’s for one day. In a way I am really surprised I was able to dodge the bullet as long as I have since Darren has had 3 colds since December and I’ve been surrended my sick people at work.

    Take care.

    • Ann

      Glad you took care of yourself (and kept your germs at home). Just folding laundry wore me out yesterday. Went to work today. I was tired, but feel better today. I plan to hit the sack early tonight (after a shot of NyQuil).