People usually believe that someone who is suffering from a cold virus is contagious only when he has a running nose and he is coughing, but the truth is that the person had become contagious some two or three days before the symptoms had finally shown up and thus anyone in close contact with the person from that period on can be infected with the same cold virus. However, the cold virus is nearly not as contagious as it is contagious when the symptoms like running nose, sore throat and coughing are at its worse.
Something that one must note is that it is not yet possible to estimate the contagious period during a cold accurately. However, it is estimated that a person will start being contagious from a few days before the cold symptoms show up and will continue to be so for around two weeks or until the symptoms cease completely. As mentioned before, the cold virus is the most contagious when the symptoms trouble the patient most and that period is within the second to the fourth day of the infection under normal circumstances. After this period is over, the ability of the virus to latch on to the surrounding people will lessen with each passing day until it is totally gone.
A common cold is a temporary problem that usually troubles you for no more than a week or two and it is not as bad or as contagious as the flu virus either. However, it can make you weak and during the days when the cold is at its worse, you might face a lot of discomfort as well. Therefore to stop it from spreading, the patient should avoid proximity with unaffected individuals, especially when he/she is suffering the most. The most common way in which a cold infection spreads is through the air when the patient coughs or sneezes. It is best to keep a tissue at hand to cover your nose when you sneeze or cover your mouth when you cough in order to stop the infected micro globules of mucus from getting inside the respiratory system of those who are near the patient.