What Are the First Signs of a Cold?

You may notice the first signs of a cold – a sneeze, a runny nose, a tickle in your throat – as early as 10 hours after you’ve been infected with a cold virus. Typically, these symptoms will get worse over the next 24-48 hours. This Pre-Cold® is your first warning sign that a full-blown monster of a cold – represented by Zicam’s Cold Monster® character – is right around the corner. This is also the time when you are most contagious and most likely to pass the cold on to other people.

The first signs of a cold vary from person to person, but they might include cough, sneezing, sore throat, nasal congestion, watery eyes or even body aches and fatigue.1 Adults and older children with colds generally do not have a fever, but young children with colds may have temperatures of 100-102°F.

No matter what Pre-Cold® signs you have, don’t just ignore them. In addition to resting and drinking plenty of fluids, taking a zinc cold remedy like Zicam® can help you shorten a cold and get better faster.

What to Expect with a Cold

Most people recover from a cold within 7-10 days. If you have a fever, or if your symptoms are more severe than usual or last more than 10 days, see your doctor to rule out other causes for your illness. If your child is younger than three months of age and has a fever, it’s important to call a doctor right away.

In children with asthma, colds are the most common trigger of wheezing. People with asthma, weakened immune systems, or respiratory symptoms may develop more serious cold complications, such as bronchitis or pneumonia.1

Do More Than Just Treating Your Cold Symptoms

What if you could shorten a cold and not just treat symptoms? Over-the-counter medicines may help to ease cold symptoms. According to a recent review of medical research on using zinc for the common cold, taking a zinc cold remedy within 24 hours of the first signs of a cold can reduce the duration of the common cold.2 Zicam® is a completely different® kind of cold medicine than traditional symptom relievers because it has been clinically proven* to shorten a cold when taken at the first sign.

  1. MedlinePlus. Common Cold. Available at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000678.htm. Accessed July 14, 2014.
  2. Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD001364. DO1: 10.1002/14651858.CD001364.pub3.

*Clinical results have been shown for Zicam® Cold Remedy RapidMelts®, Ultra RapidMelts®, Ultra Crystals, Medicated Fruit Drops, Lozenges, Oral Mist, Nasal Spray and Nasal Swabs.


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