It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....

Colds & Flu Message Board

Question about cold

Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-03-2006, 10:13 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 164
moonstruckgrl HB User
Question about cold

What is the incubation time of a common cold? Meaning, from the time you get the virus, how long does it take for symptoms to arrive?
Also, how long is a person that already has a cold and has symptoms contageous?

Sponsors Lightbulb
Old 06-11-2006, 05:04 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Posts: 299
stevie_23 HB Userstevie_23 HB User
Re: Question about cold

Well, it's supposedly about 48 hours between when you're exposed to a cold virus and when it multiples in your system and then symptoms develop. So...maybe 1-3 days or so..

However in my experience, generally I've been exposed to a cold and then a WEEK later I'll finally get the first symptoms but it's definitely that one exposure and not someone else later on who I was exposed to. I think it depends on the exact strain of virus. There are just millions and they all cause slightly different incubation and symptom patterns I think.

Possibly a person who has a cold is contagious for a few days...I think the same time as the general incubation period of 1-3 days BUT bear in mind that they are MOST contagious right before symptoms start, so...unfortunately if you're exposed to someone a lot and then 1-2 days later they've got a visible cold, they were probably most contagious just beforehand when nobody knew they were getting sick. (or technically already sick).

It's because the virus multiples so quickly in your throat and nose and you have no symptoms at this stage because the body doesn't know anything is really wrong yet...which is why you end up getting sick in the first place, because your body lets its guard down while all this is happening. It's only once the virus has taken over (and thus you are most contagious while this is going on) that you start to experience the sore throat, sneezing, nose problems, etc. And it's not the cold that causes this, it's your body reacting to the cold, trying to get rid of it from your system by explusion of various fluids (ew). So the symptoms are your body fighting off the cold.

The reason I think people assume it's the symptoms that are the cold and that it means people are most contagious, is because it's really the symptoms that spread the's more difficult to pass on a cold if you're never sneezing or coughing, you know? Even though the majority of colds are actually spread by touch rather than airborne.

So yeah, a person who has a cold and has had it actively (meaning with symptoms) for like, 5 days, shouldn't be contagious anymore, even if they have symptoms still...unless their symptoms get worse, in which case it could have moved into the chest or sinuses and could be a secondary bacterial infection. Then they'd be contagious again.

Hope this has helped!

The Following User Says Thank You to stevie_23 For This Useful Post:
Murphsmom (09-18-2011)
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Long Term Detox Question tripleair Addiction & Recovery 10 08-07-2006 08:18 PM
question for Jennifer kellie2 Dental Health 1 06-28-2006 09:27 AM
Question abt Side Effects April91 Heart Disorders 6 05-09-2006 04:05 PM
Speech & Walking Question Hope25 Cerebral Palsy 8 11-07-2005 12:57 AM
cold question Infidel Lupus 3 10-17-2005 10:50 AM
Question answer please Twingirl2 Herpes 3 08-31-2005 02:41 PM
I think i finally lost my mind interesting story and a question notfair HIV Prevention 7 12-15-2004 09:51 AM
QUestion about cold sores and herpes ?? Thanks2Jesus Herpes 2 04-20-2004 01:26 PM
cold sores and oral sex question Reina90 Herpes 7 03-07-2004 10:53 AM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:24 AM.

Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
© 1998-2018 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!