How Long Does the Common Cold Last?

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Mayo Clinic states that a common cold typically lasts one to two weeks. A cold is most contagious during the first two to three days after symptoms first appear and is generally only contagious during the first week, according to MedlinePlus.

MedlinePlus maintains that some people may not develop symptoms until a week after exposure to the common cold virus, although most individuals start to develop symptoms within two to three days. Over-the-counter medicines and home remedies for the common cold can help relieve symptoms, but they do not make the cold go away more quickly, according to Mayo Clinic.