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how long do common colds last

Most uncomplicated colds last between eight and nine days, but about 25 percent last two weeks, and five to 10 percent last three weeks. Even the most stubborn colds will typically resolve in a few weeks’ time; this is actually one of the ways you can distinguish a cold from allergies. A cold will last, at most, a few weeks, but allergy symptoms can last all season.

How quickly you bounce back is typically defined by you and your collective lifestyle habits – and this does not mean popping over-the-counter cough and cold remedies or fever reducers. In fact, as long as your temperature remains below 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius) there is no need to lower it. Cold viruses do not reproduce at higher body temperatures, so a slight fever should help you get rid of the virus quicker and help you to feel better much sooner.

You should avoid taking over-the-counter pain-relief medications as well, as a study showed that people who take aspirin and Tylenol (acetaminophen) suppress their body’s ability to produce antibodies to destroy the cold virus

. Aspirin has even been linked to lung complications including pulmonary edema, an abnormal buildup of fluid in your lungs, when taken in excess. You should use these medications only when absolutely necessary, such as if you have a temperature greater than 105 degrees F (40.5 degrees C), severe muscle aches or weakness.