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When you have a cold or flu, when in the course of your illness are you contagious? I've heard that by the time you're actually sick, you're no longer contagious (that doesn't make sense). It seems that as long as you are coughing/sneezing you're still contagious. Does anyone know for sure? Thanks!
 

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According to my handy-dandy copy of "Control of Communicable Diseases in Man," the incubation period for the flu is up to 72 hours, and the period of communicability is "probably" limited to 3 days after symptoms appear.<br><br>
For the common cold, the incubation period is "usually" 48 hours with the period of communicability being up to 5 days after the start of symptoms.
 

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Omegamama, thanks for posting this question. I always wonder, and haven't heard a good answer for it. Joan, thanks for providing a good answer from a reliable source.<br><br>
Having said that, my 2 y/o ds has had a cold with a very runny (green/yellow/clear) nose for 7 days. So I guess it's safe to take him out and assume he won't spread his germs???<br><br>
The other thing I wonder about is whether his immune system isn't as strong while he's fighting off his cold, and thus may be more suseptable to other illnesses he may be exposed to if we go out. Anyone know???<br><br>
I guess I'm having a hard time with this because we've been in the house for 1 week, and starting to go crazy. Is it overkill that I'm keeping him inside for so long?<br><br>
Okay, and one more thing... What about going outside in the cold weather when he has a cold? He's dying to get out and play. We live in Iowa and it's starting to get cold. Is it dangerous to go out in the cold when you're already sick?<br><br>
Omegamama, I apologize for hijacking your thread!<br><br>
THanks!<br>
Tracy
 

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I have heard that the contagion (sp?) is in the wet mucus.....therefore when mucus is present and contacts another thru sneezes or rubbing nose then touching toys or others, then its spreading....<br>
As far as keeping dc's inside, I think what is important is to not allow them to get really wound up and exhaust their energies with running and active play (inside or outside).<br>
I also think that going outside, dressed properly is ok. (So does our ped) The fresh air is good for them, especially when sick. Let it be an easy walk, ride in a stroller, or anything not overly active. And just keep their noses wiped and for the protection of others, bring some wet ones along to clean his hands before he goes on the swing or whatever. And when you come back inside be sure to unbundle him too.<br>
On the contrary, in a well nourished child, his immune system is in high gear during a cold so I would say, he is less suseptable at this time. Those white blood cells are in action!!
 
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