Can the Common Cold Help Defend Against Covid-19?

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New research from the Yale School of Medicine suggests that the common cold could be a defense against Covid-19.

As many of us start to ditch the masks that have been strapped to our heads for the last year, we could be more likely to catch a cold. But that may not be all bad.

Researchers at Yale say the common cold is essentially an innate immune response that gets turned on with basically every virus, and those defenses are really high.

So what does that mean in the fight against Covid-19? Researchers found that human tissue that had first been exposed to rhinovirus, the most frequent cause of the common cold, was then less impacted by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

"It's because the common cold turns on these really fast anti-viral defenses really high… and then when the Covid comes in, it can't grow at all because the body's already won the race. The body's defenses has already won the race,” explained Dr. Ellen Foxman, an assistant professor of laboratory medicine at Yale School of Medicine.

Foxman cautioned that while the findings are interesting, the best line of defense against Covid-19 is a vaccine, not to try to infect yourself with the common cold.

"For years, people have joked about curing the common cold. We wish we could cure it, we wish we never got a cold again. But, in fact, this shows that there could be some beneficial effects of the common cold in preventing more dangerous viruses as well,” Foxman said.

For more information on the research, click here.

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