The common cold is a global disease which can be caused by more than 200 different strains of virus. Most people are infectious for a day or two before symptoms appear, and remain infectious for one or two weeks.
So to stamp out the cold, we’d need to self-isolate for at least a week after showing any symptoms, and there would need to be a ‘test and trace’ system to identify anyone who we may have been in contact with before symptoms appeared. The economic, mental health and physical health costs of so many people self-isolating would vastly outweigh the benefit of eradicating the cold.
- Can people have two colds at the same time?
- Why don’t viruses like the flu die off when no one is ill?
- Why do I feel cold and shiver when I have a fever?
- When I’m ill, should I just let my fever burn itself out?