I had a mild cold and didn't want to pass it on. So I thought about how easy it would be do do survey research to find out about the statistical reality of the communicability of colds.
What I realized is that my bias toward data is really a bias toward survey design. On the issue of measuring the contagiousness of colds I immediately designed a survey structure to get reliable answers to the question of when do you show the first symptoms of a cold and when are you contagious.
I looked at the CDC website on the issue and found that there are 200 viruses associated with the common cold and 35% are one family of rhinoviruses. Symptoms occur 1 to 3 days after exposure and contagion is during the first 2 to 3 days with the symptoms present. One obvious point for me was that using an anti-histamine would help me avoid spreading the viruses.
Hell, give me a good sample size, in the tens of thousands and the money to do the work and I'll give you exact data on colds, contagion and transmission mechanisms. What crap we have now. It is a disgrace. Colds are very common, 4 to 6 per adult per year and very costly for the society. We should know the exact vital details and get rid of this nusciance.
During the contagious, period after the symptoms appear, we should all wear disposable face masks....if that indeed is a factual matter.
Where are the genuine and competent medical researchers on this issue, where is the reliable survey data and why are the approriate funding sources ignoring this simple but economically important issue?