How long am I contagious with cold and flu?

How Long Am I Contagious With Cold and Flu?

Evidence suggests that you might be capable of spreading viruses that cause cold and flu for 24 hours before symptom onset and for as long as your symptoms last. Generally speaking, you're likely to remain contagious for as long as you feel unwell with symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, sneezing and nasal congestion.

While cough may promote viral spread during early infection, cough can persist for up to several weeks following viral upper respiratory tract infection and it is therefore possible to have post-viral cough beyond the contagious period.

As a general guide you should avoid close contact with others or going to work while you feel unwell. If you have a mild persisting cough after all other symptoms have resolved, it is possible you may no longer be contagious. If you are unsure, you should contact your health professional.