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The common cold can suppress the coronavirus: how it will affect the pandemic

The virus that causes the common cold can effectively expel Covid from the body, scientists say. The thing is that some viruses "compete" for a place in the human body, explains Air force.

Photo: Shutterstock

British scientists from the University of Glasgow found that common rhinoviruses that cause the common cold were stronger than the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 disease.

The benefits may be short-lived, but rhinoviruses are so common that they can help suppress the coronavirus.

Think of the cells in your nose, throat, and lungs as a row of houses. Once a virus gets inside, he can either keep the doors of his house open to let other viruses in, or close them to live without neighbors.

The flu is one of the most selfish viruses and almost always works alone. Others, such as adenoviruses, tend to cohabit.

There has been a lot of speculation about how the virus that causes Covid (Sars-CoV-2) would fit into the mysterious world of "viral interactions."

However, a year of social distancing has slowed the spread of all viruses and made them harder to learn.

Scientists at the Glasgow Viral Research Center took a copy of the mucous membrane of the human respiratory tract and infected it with Sars-CoV-2 and rhinovirus, which is one of the most common infections in the world and the cause of the common cold.

On the subject: How to independently distinguish the flu and the common cold from COVID-19

It turned out that if rhinovirus and Sars-CoV-2 are released at the same time, then the first one suppresses Covid-19.

If the rhinovirus is given a 24-hour head start, then Sars-CoV-2 simply won't stand a chance. And even when scientists released Sars-CoV-2 24 hours earlier, the rhinovirus was still stronger.

“Sars-CoV-2 is not developing, it is very depressed by the rhinovirus,” Dr. Pablo Murcia told BBC News. "This is very interesting because the high prevalence of the common cold can reduce the number of new infections with Sars-CoV-2."

Similar cases have been observed before. A large outbreak of rhinovirus likely delayed the 2009 swine flu pandemic in parts of Europe.

Further experiments showed that the rhinovirus triggers an immune response within infected cells that blocks the ability of Sars-CoV-2 to make copies of itself.

Ahead of "severe winter"

However, when the cold has passed and the immune response is back to normal, Covid will "get back to old" again.

“Vaccinations, hygiene measures and interactions between viruses can significantly reduce the incidence of Covid-19, but only vaccination will give the maximum effect,” says Dr Murcia.

Professor Lawrence Young of Vorick University School of Medicine says rhinoviruses are "highly contagious."

He added that the new study suggests "that this infection could affect the spread of Covid-19, especially during the fall and winter months, when seasonal colds are on the rise."

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It is not yet known what awaits us in the coming winters. The coronavirus will probably not go away, and other infections that were suppressed during the pandemic could intensify as immunity to them weakened.

Dr. Susan Hopkins of England's Public Health Department has already warned that people will face a "harsh winter."

“We've seen outbreaks of influenza and other respiratory viruses and pathogens,” she said.

The results of the study were published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, a scientific journal covering the problems of infectious diseases and microbiology.

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