Are There Common Cold Carriers?

I contend that my wife is routinely a carrier of common cold germs and I am the victim- help!

  • she rarely catches a cold.
  • I tend to catch a cold (not flu) more than once each winter.
  • I have developed almost OCD habits of hand-washing, Listerine gargling, etc. and have done these things for several years now.
  • she doesn’t go out of her way to wash her hands and she hates Literine.
  • within hours of a passionate kiss I will begin feeling the first common cold symptom (soar throat). Yes, I have a cold right now that developed within 3-4 hours of a passionate kiss last Thursday night.
  • I have learned that gargling with Listerine and popping Zicam like it was Tic-Tacs can sometimes help me to beat the soar throat, but it takes a couple days of the disciplined Listerine and Zicam regimine.
  • this has become somewhat of a winter pattern (married 17 years) and I’m frustrated!

So, I have developed the opinion that she is a carrier of common cold germs in her mouth, but she is not effected by them. Then I kiss her and get sick.

THANKS for the Straight Dope on this situation!!!


Stop kissing her then! :smiley:

Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this was possible. She picks up the germs, fights them off with little/no symptoms, but you’re immune system just doesn’t work as well, and you get sick.

Though I don’t think the kiss 3-4 hours before symptoms had anything to do with it. You probably picked it up the day before, at least.

Have kids? They are germ factories. I include my Butlerette in that list as well.

My guess would be that you have allergies and she doesn’t. In the winter you keep windows closed because it’s cold, so allergens build up in a way they don’t during other seasons, when windows are open sometimes or all the time.

I’m also assuming that you kiss your wife pretty often.

It could be. If your wife’s immune system is better than yours at battling colds, she could pick up the virus and transmit it to you without having many symptoms herself.

But I’d think it more likely that you’re picking it up at work or elsewhere, and have just linked it to kissing in your head. I’m pretty sure it takes longer than 4 hours to incubate the common cold, and it can take up to several days after exposure to have symptoms.

FWIW, I’ve had good luck the last few years by getting serious about using my neti pot at that first tiny sore throat. If you’ve already got an anti-cold routine, you might consider adding that. It will also help if it’s allergies rather than cold.

If your doctor approves, make sure you take a multi-vitamin every day.

Wow, thanks for the helpful replies!

Never new about the incubation time for a cold, so that helped me out! No kids, so that isn’t an issue. Never thought about allergies… I may have to look into that… the house is definitely bottled up right now.

I’ve now googled the neti pot… THANKS! I subscribe to the theory that any and all preventative measures are worth it.

Thanks again!!!