Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: How does the Common Cold Spread?


It’s something we’ve all experienced…the dreaded common cold.  It’s enough to make you feel bad, but not always something that holds us back from activities.  But, you need to be careful, as colds can still be spread easily from person to person. 

“One of the most common ways germs are spread when you have a cold are through hand-to-hand contact, or close contact with individuals who are infected,” noted Dr. Blake Garmon with Sentara Martha Jefferson Internal Medicine. 

Typically, the highest risk of spreading germs comes several days into the illness. “You’re most contagious at days two and three after infection, which also coincides with the peak time of symptoms,” said Dr. Garmon. 

And, even after symptoms like a fever are gone, that doesn’t mean you are germ-free. 

“One of the common misconceptions we hear in the office is that patients who have a cold think they are no longer contagious after they stop having a fever, but that’s not true.  People can continue to shed the virus for several days after a fever,” noted Dr. Garmon. 

If you find yourself with a cold, it’s best to stay home, rest and help your body recover. 

“We advise our patients that during the most severe part of their illness to stay home, don’t go to work, don’t be around people if you can afford to, that’s a good way to not spread the cold virus further and it’s good practice because the patient needs to be able to rest,” said Dr. Garmon. 

For more information on this topic, please call 1-800-SENTARA. If you have a question about your health you’d like us to answer, please email healthquestions@nbc29.com

Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday

Do you have health questions? Get the answers every Monday morning from the experts in our feature: Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

To submit your questions, email them to healthquestions@nbc29.com. Then, tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

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