It appears that your browser does not support JavaScript

How to Catch a Cold

How to Catch a Cold

The common cold is an upper respiratory infection that is benign and rarely develops into anything serious. However, it is quite troublesome as its symptoms include nasal obstruction, rhinorrhea and sneezing. In the United States, the incidence of getting colds is higher during the autumn and winter season, especially in schools. The average child will get four to eight common cold infections per year while adults will have three to five infections per year. In order to prevent and reduce the incidence of common cold infections, especially in enclosed buildings or spaces with large numbers of people, knowing and understanding how is transmitted is very important.

Direct Contact

One of the ways with which the common cold virus is transmitted is by personal or direct contact. Direct contact constitutes hand to hand contact with an infected person, such as when the infected person touches an object that is passed on to another person.

Once an infected person touches an object, even if inanimate, the virus will remain on such object for up to four days. Meanwhile, the common cold virus remains on the skin for up to two hours.

Aerosols of Respiratory Droplets

Another way to catch a cold is through the transmission of respiratory droplets that are released in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Most of the studies today say that most cases of common cold infections are transmitted from aerosols of respiratory droplets more than by personal contact. It was also found that infectious aerosols produced by saliva more efficiently transmit the virus, as compared to the aerosols transmitted by the nose.

When the common cold virus is effectively transmitted from one infected person to another, the latter will develop symptoms after one or two days, with the symptoms peaking after two to four days.



Rajnik, Michael. “Rhinoviruses.” Rhinoviruses. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Nov. 2010.

Goldmann, Donald A. . “Epidemiology and Prevention of Pediatric Viral Respiratory Infections in Health-Care Institutions.” Emerging Infectious Diseases 1 Mar. 2001: 249-253.

Jennings, L. C., and E. C. Dick. “Transmission and Control of Rhinovirus Colds.” European Journal of Epidemiology 3.4 (1987): 327-35. Web. 04 Nov. 2010.

Hendley, J. Owen , Richard P. Wenzel, and Jack M. Gwaltney, Jr.. “Transmission of Rhinovirus Colds by Self-Inoculation.” The New England Journal of Medicine 288 (1973): 1361-1364.


Copyright 2009-2018

Sophisticated Media LLC

Terms of Service l Privacy Policy

Contact Us