How Is It Transmitted?
Transmission of the rhinovirus occurs in one of two ways:
- Touching your skin or environmental surfaces, such as telephones and stair rails, that have the rhinovirus on them and then touching your eyes or nose
- Inhaling drops of mucus full of rhinovirus from the air when a contagious person coughs or sneezes.
Just like with any other common cold virus, there are no treatments that can kill a rhinovirus. Therefore, treatment involves relieving symptoms as the body fights the rhinovirus infection. Some ways to reduce symptoms caused by an infection include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Resting in bed
- Taking common cold medicine
- Gargling with warm salt water or using throat sprays or lozenges
- Using a cool-mist humidifier.
Preventing an Infection
There are several ways you can reduce your chances of getting a rhinovirus infection. Suggestions include:
- Washing your hands regularly
- Keeping your hands away from your nose, mouth, and eyes
- Limiting exposure to infected people
- Practicing healthy habits
- Using disinfectants.
(Click Common Cold Prevention for more information on preventing a rhinovirus infection.)
Research on Rhinovirus
Thanks to researchers who study the common cold, we know more about the rhinovirus than almost any other virus.
Much of the research on the transmission of the common cold has been done with rhinoviruses, which are shed in the highest concentration in nasal secretions. Research studies suggest a person is most likely to transmit rhinoviruses in the second to fourth day of infection, when the amount of virus in nasal secretions is highest.
Another area of active rhinovirus research involves finding an effective rhinovirus cure or rhinovirus vaccine.