Your Cold Timeline

  • 1 to 3 days

    This is when you will feel worst.  The first symptom of a cold is usually a sore throat. This is generally followed by sneezing or a blocked, sore or runny nose. Usually, 1 in 3 people with a cold will get a cough and feel unwell.


    Do not ask your doctor for antibiotics for a cold. Colds are caused by viruses and antibiotics cannot treat viruses. Instead, drink plenty of liquids to replace those lost from sweating and runny noses.  Get lots of rest and eat healthily.

  • 4 - 7 days

    By this stage, most adults will start to feel better but children will take a little longer to get well again. Continue to drink plenty of liquids and eat healthily. You can start getting back to normal when you feel well enough.

  • 7 days

    Adults should be fully recovered by now –  but, remember, a cough, if you have one, can last 3 weeks. Young children may take a little longer to fully recover.