Cold and Flu
Infectious Diseases
Viruses (biological)

When are you most contagious when you have a cold?


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Adults are contagious one or two days before symptoms of the common cold start and approximately a week after. Children can be contagious even longer, as much as two weeks after symptoms have started. You are most contagious earlier in your illness rather than later. Some people can be infected with a common cold virus and have no symptoms, but still spread the virus to others. See the related links section below for a link to more information.