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When should I stay home if I have a cold?

ANSWER

You're contagious for the first few days of your cold, so it's best to stay home then. You need to be careful about coughing and sneezing around other people. Also, you will get better quicker if you get some rest.

SOURCES:

CDC: "Q&A: Preventing the Flu," "Q&A: Cold Vs. Flu."

William Schaffner, MD, chairman, preventive medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

Tracy Wimbush, MD, emergency room specialist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Douglas, R. , June 2005. Public Library of Science Medicine

News release, Public Library of Science.

University of Pennsylvania Office of Health Education: "Cold and Flu Remedies: Questions and Answers."

Medline Plus: "Common Cold," "Flu."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on February 28, 2018

SOURCES:

CDC: "Q&A: Preventing the Flu," "Q&A: Cold Vs. Flu."

William Schaffner, MD, chairman, preventive medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

Tracy Wimbush, MD, emergency room specialist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Douglas, R. , June 2005. Public Library of Science Medicine

News release, Public Library of Science.

University of Pennsylvania Office of Health Education: "Cold and Flu Remedies: Questions and Answers."

Medline Plus: "Common Cold," "Flu."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on February 28, 2018

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What is the best approach to preventing colds?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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