Prognosis and Outlook for Common Cold

Prognosis for Common Cold

Most people with a cold or flu recover on their own without medical care. But check with a health care provider if symptoms last beyond 10 days or if symptoms arenít relieved by over-the-counter medicines. For more about when to see a doctor, go to CDC's Flu Page.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)1

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Duration of Common Cold

Most people recover in about 7-10 days.

Source: CDC Features2

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Duration -- 3 to 14 days

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)3

Recovery Time for Common Cold

Colds and flu rarely last beyond 2 weeks.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)4

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Common Cold

  • Symptoms last up to 2 weeks

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)5

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Colds usually last 1-2 weeks. However, you could get a bacterial infection after a cold, such as an ear infection or sinus infection, which may mean youíre unwell for longer.

Source: New Zealand Health6

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  1. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): issue/ oct2014/ feature2
  2. Source: CDC Features: features/ rhinoviruses/ 
  3. Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH): magazine/ issues/ spring15/ articles/ spring15pg26-27.html
  4. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): issue/ oct2014/ feature2
  5. ibid.
  6. Source: New Zealand Health: your-health/ conditions-and-treatments/ diseases-and-illnesses/ colds

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.