How Long Are Cold, Flu Symptoms Contagious?

great health officials say that we are

in peak season for the flu right now

it's also been a busy time of year for

the common cold that has Celeste from

Golden Valley and Morgan from

Minneapolis want to know how long are

you contagious good question here's how

the brown have you ever had the flu yes

work from home for a day and then your

back came back a little sooner than I

probably should have everyone in the

office say oh they were really happy

with me you contagious before you get

symptoms you're probably contagious for

a few hours maybe before you get

symptoms but not for very long dr. mark

slice is a biologist at the U how long

are you contagious with all these

viruses it's quite variable with

influenza it's 3 to 4 days once symptoms

hit with colds it's usually a day or two

longer my usual rule of thumb is to stay

home until you're not coughing until

you're not running fever anymore and

when you feel better and feel well

enough to work here's why flu is most

often spread through the air and MIT

researchers found a sneeze can travel

across the room but they say the big

droplets drop off by 6 feet so it's the

3-foot range that we need to be more

worried about you've got to have a three

feet barrier around you circle like the

dogs with the help but cold viruses are

different they're more often spread when

our infected hands touch our eyes or

nose how often do you think you touch

your nose your eyes HJ like thousands of

times and we know viruses can live on

doorknobs light switches and soda

machines for a few hours but it's far

more likely that I'm going to spread the

virus by shaking your hand then by you

touching this drawer after I've touched

it both are possible but you should wash

your hands now he says don't worry about

how long or how much soap to use just

wash more often than you think you

should it's better than nothing if all

you have time for is one rendition of

happy birthday to you happy birthday to

you happy birthday dear everybody I'm

going to try that in the bathroom at

work they gotta said he was crazy now I

know he's

crazy wcco4 news guys laugh is

contagious the doctor told Heather that

flu comes on very quickly and we are

most contagious in the first 24 hours

colds are tougher to judge because

symptoms can pop up over days the doctor

could not encourage people enough to

stay home wash their hands and get flu

shots if you have a good question just

email it by going to wcco.com/links