Posted on October 5, 2013 Different viruses cause the common cold and flu, but both are spread through the air in tiny droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes. When you sneeze your body is getting rid of infected cells and an average sneeze will spread over 100,000 virus cells up to 30 feet. And, in case you were wondering, people suffering from a cold can spread the virus from two days before the symptoms of the illness start and up to four days afterwards. On average, adults catch two to three colds each year. School-age children can have twelve or more colds in a year. The air from a sneeze can travel at speeds of 100 miles per hour or more — another good reason to cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze — or duck when you hear one coming your way. Did you know: The highest recorded speed of a sneeze is 165 km per hour. It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.