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Diseases » Common cold » Contagiousness
 

Is Common cold Contagious?

Transmission of Common cold from Person to Person

Common cold is considered to be contagious between people. Generally the infectious agent may be transmitted by saliva, air, cough, fecal-oral route, surfaces, blood, needles, blood transfusions, sexual contact, mother to fetus, etc.
Common cold, although infectious, is not a genetic disease. It is not caused by a defective or abnormal gene.
The contagious disease, Common cold, can be transmitted:

  • from person to person by saliva, air, coughing, contact, surfaces, fecal-oral route, etc.

Contagiousness properties for Common cold:


  Contagious overall?: Yes

  Contagious by droplet?: Yes

  Contagious from kissing?: Yes

  Contagious from saliva?: Yes

  Contagious from surfaces (or objects)?: Yes

Discussion about Contagion of Common cold:

The Common Cold, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)

Depending on the virus type, any or all of the following routes of transmission may be common:

  • Touching infectious respiratory secretions on skin and on environmental surfaces and then touching the eyes or nose.
  • Inhaling relatively large particles of respiratory secretions transported briefly in the air.
  • Inhaling droplet nuclei: smaller infectious particles suspended in the air for long periods of time.
(Source: excerpt from The Common Cold, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

The Common Cold, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)

Much of the research on the transmission of the common cold has been done with rhinoviruses, which are shed in the highest concentration in nasal secretions. Studies suggest a person is most likely to transmit rhinoviruses in the second to fourth day of infection, when the amount of virus in nasal secretions is highest. Researchers also have shown that using aspirin to treat colds increases the amount of virus shed in nasal secretions, possibly making the cold sufferer more of a hazard to others. (Source: excerpt from The Common Cold, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

About contagion and contagiousness:

Contagion and contagiousness refers to how easily the spread of Common cold is possible from one person to another. Other words for contagion include "infection", "infectiousness", "transmission" or "transmissability". Contagiousness has nothing to do with genetics or inheriting diseases from parents. For an overview of contagion, see Introduction to Contagion.

 

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