It’s an age-old question we ask ourselves and talk about with our family members every winter: How long are you contagious when you’re sick with a cold? None of us want to get the people in our lives sick, so this is an important question we should all know the answer to.
According to MedicalNewsToday, the answer isn’t great. As long as you have any kind of cold symptoms, you are contagious to those around you for the duration of your sickness. The cold virus spreads primarily when sick people cough and sneeze and those germs are inhaled or land on surfaces that are touched by others… and the typical cold lasts 3-10 days.
The risk of being contagious gets lower as you begin to recover, but as long as you’re still sniffling and wheezing, you are still contagious. The same goes for the flu, but the symptoms are much more severe.
The message here is clear. If you can stay away from people while you’re sick, do it. If not, do everything in your power to minimize the spread of your germs to those around you. That includes coughing into the crook of your elbow, washing your hands frequently, and replacing your tissues every time you use one. Now get out there and have a healthy holiday and new year!
h/t: Mental Floss