A red nose with a profuse, dripping nasal discharge may be present. The discharge can be clear and watery or mucopurulent (yellow or green). Purulent secretions are common after the first few days of illness because a large number of white blood cells migrate to the site of viral infection. Such secretions should not be taken as implying bacterial infection unless they persist for more than 10-14 days.
The incubation period is 12-72 hours, averaging 8-16 hours after viral inoculation of the nose. Systemic signs and symptoms, such as fever and malaise, are unusual. If they are present, consider an alternative diagnosis. When fever is present, it is typically low-grade. Infants and preschoolers are more likely to experience fevers, which are often 100.4°-102.2°F (38°-39°C).
No substantial evidence has proven that individuals who are exposed to tobacco smoke have more frequent rhinovirus infections; however, their infections are reportedly more severe, and their symptoms last longer.
For more on rhinovirus infection, read here.
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