There are many myths surrounding the common cold. One common myth states that a sick person is only contagious during the first three days of symptoms. But when this theory, and others, was put to the test, scientists drew conclusions that are very different from what many of us believe.
While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact time a sick person becomes contagious, scientist agree that most common colds become infectious before the first symptoms emerge, and they remain infectious throughout the duration of the cold.
The time between becoming infected with a cold virus and the emergence of symptoms—like a sore throat, sneezing, sinus congestion and nasal drip—is usually three to five days. The common cold may develop a bit faster, becoming contagious only 24 hours after a person has been infected, even though the person experiences no cold symptoms.
Even after cold symptoms disappear, a person can still infect others for up to three days. What’s most fascinating is that just because you come in contact with someone who is contagious, more often than not you do not get sick. Our bodies are designed to defend themselves. When your spine is strong, healthy and well-aligned your bodies ability to defend itself is at it’s highest potential. When it is improperly aligned, a condition called a subluxations, it effects the immune system and lowers your resistance to getting sick.
It’s clear, if you want to avoid the common cold, you need to do more than just steer clear of sick people. Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy this winter: wash your hands regularly; eat healthy food; minimize white refined sugar in your diet because of its known effect on lowering the immune system; get plenty of rest; do not get chilled and get to your Chiropractor regularly. Chiropractic adjustments enhance your body’s natural ability to ward off sickness.
Here’s some good news. If you do catch the common cold, chiropractic adjustments will help your body’s immune system get stronger faster.
[Source: New York Times, “The Claim: A Cold Is Contagious Only Before Symptoms Emerge” 3/15/05]