Health A-Z

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Prognosis

The common cold is a mild infection that improves on its own within a week. However, some people may have symptoms that last for several weeks, and a small number of people may develop bacterial infections of the ear, sinuses or lungs following the common cold.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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