Transmission of the Common Cold
Transmission of the common cold may occur when you touch a surface that has cold germs on it and then touch your eyes or nose. Transmission of the common cold may also occur when you inhale cold germs from the air after a contagious person coughs or sneezes. If you have a cold, minimize the transmission of it to others by covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze and using a tissue.
Transmission of the common cold occurs by one of two methods:
- Touching your skin or environmental surfaces, such as telephones and stair rails, that have cold germs on them and then touching your eyes or nose
- Inhaling drops of mucus full of cold germs from the air when a contagious person coughs or sneezes.
If you have a cold, there are some things that you can do to reduce transmission of the common cold to others. Some suggestions include:
- Avoid being close to people, especially during the first 2 to 4 days of cold symptoms when you are most contagious.
- If you sneeze or cough, cover your nose or mouth. You can also use a tissue that you immediately throw away.
(Click Common Cold Prevention for suggestions on ways to protect yourself from getting the common cold.)