The term ‘common cold’ refers to a complex of signs and symptoms sharing similar characteristics but which may be caused by a variety of different viruses. Usually referred as viral upper respiratory tract infections (vURIs), the familiar features of the common cold include runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, and sometimes sore throat and watery eyes.
More than 50% of all infections that could be termed ‘common colds’ are caused by rhinoviruses of which there are three species (A, B and C) and 99 known serotypes. Rhinoviruses survive best at the cooler temperatures found in the nose as opposed to the warm depths of the body, which is why the primary signs and symptoms of infection occur there.
The typical cold worsens for the first 3-4 days, plateaus for 1-2 days, and then improves over another 3-4 days. Therefore, most colds have resolved or significantly improved by day 7-10 of the illness. An old proverb perfectly exemplifies the problem: if you suffer from ‘common cold’, it will resolve itself within 7 days if you do nothing and, if you go to your doctor to get some sort of medication, it will last for a week.
This all means that if you ‘catch’ a common cold, you know that you do not suffer from Influenza because then you would be really, really ill.
 McIntyre et al: Recombination in the evolution of human rhinovirus genomes in Archives of Virology - 2013.
 FDA Taking Closer Look at 'Antibacterial' Soap. See here.