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Additional Information From NIAID

Common Cold

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Symptoms of the common cold usually begin 2 to 3 days after infection and often include:

  • Sore throat
  • Mucus buildup in your nose
  • Difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Swelling of your sinuses
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Tiredness

Although fever is uncommon in adults, it is often found in children with colds and can climb to102ºF in infants and young children. Consult a healthcare provider if you or your child has a fever higher than 100.4°F.

Cold symptoms can last from 2 to 14 days, but if you are like most people, you’ll probably recover in a week to 10 days. If your symptoms return often or last much longer than 2 weeks, you might have an allergy rather than a cold.

High fever, significantly swollen glands, severe sinus pain, and a cough that produces mucus may be signs that you have a complication or more serious illness. If you have any of these signs, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Last Updated August 17, 2012