How does a cold start?
It usually begins with a sore throat or sneezing, and before you know it, you’ve also got these symptoms:
Runny nose (clear and watery)
You usually don’t get a fever with a cold. If you do, it may be a sign you’ve got the flu or an infection with a bacteria.
The first sign of a cold is usually a sore or irritated throat and is typically followed by early symptoms such as a headache, chilliness or lethargy. These develop quickly and can last one to two days. During the first few days, your nose may also start to run.
Cold symptoms usually start 2 or 3 days after a person has been exposed to the virus. People with colds are most contagious for the first 3 or 4 days after the symptoms begin and can be contagious for up to 3 weeks. Although some colds can linger for as long as 2 weeks, most clear up within a week.
This can happen by direct physical contact with someone who has a cold, or by touching a surface contaminated with their germs and then touching your nose or mouth. You can also catch it from infected droplets in the air released by a sneeze or a cough.