The common cold is most often spread by direct contact with the respiratory secretions of someone who is infected. Usually by hand-to-hand contact.
Heres how it usually happens:
- The person with the cold touches their mouth or nose (we do this all day long without thinking).
- The cold viruses are now on their hands.
- The person touches another person, such as shaking hands.
- The other person rubs his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
- Viruses cross the thin barrier over the eyes or the lining inside the nose or mouth.
- The viruses are in and so it goes.
It is also possible to become infected by touching a surface such as a table top or doorknob that someone with a cold recently touched. Cold viruses can survive on these types of surfaces for as long as 3 hours.
Again without being aware, you might touch your eyes, mouth or nose. So washing your hands frequently is extremely important to prevent the spread of the common cold.