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When your cold symptoms are severe, stay at home! But what if you absolutely must go into the office?

According to the Health Information section of, a few sniffles and a dry, infrequent cough mean that you are contagious, but if you absolutely have to go out, practising proper hygiene will prevent you from passing it onto others.

However, Rebecca Gilman of the Public Health Agency of Canada, advises even if you are mildly ill, stay home until symptoms subside.

To minimize spreading or catching the cold virus at work, follow these Public Health Agency of Canada hygiene tips:

  1. Wash your hands often or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after touching your nose or mouth.
  2. Wipe down shared property right after handling; the coffee pot handle, mouse, keyboard, copy machine, telephone, doorknobs, light switches, even elevator buttons.
  3. Always wipe your nose, sneeze or cough into disposable tissue and dispose of it immediately.

Gilman stresses not to risk infecting co-workers: “Stay home, because if you have the cold virus it spreads very easily to others.”