Sneezing, a scratchy throat, a stuffy nose, coughing – everyone knows the symptoms of the common cold. It is probably the most common illness. In the course of a year, people in the United States suffer 1 billion colds. You can get a cold by touching your eyes or nose after you touch surfaces with cold germs on them. You can also inhale the germs. Symptoms usually begin 2 or 3 days after infection and last 2 to 14 days. Washing your hands and staying away from people with colds will help you avoid colds. There is no cure for the common cold. For relief, try Getting plenty of rest Drinking fluids Gargling with warm salt water Using cough drops or throat sprays Taking over-the-counter pain or cold medicines - but not aspirin for children