Thursday, March 25, 2021

125 Million Cases and the Common Cold Locks Horns with Covid-19


Covid-19 is surging again – and the tally has reached 125 million cases worldwide. 

But there is a claim that the common cold may be already locking horns with Covid-19.

The virus that causes the common cold can effectively boot the Covid virus out of the body's cells, say researchers. Some viruses are known to compete in order to be the one that causes an infection. 

And University of Glasgow scientists say it appears cold-causing rhinovirus trumps coronavirus. The benefits might be short-lived but rhinovirus is so widespread, they add, it could still help to suppress Covid. 

Think of the cells in your nose, throat and lungs as being like a row of houses. Once a virus gets inside, it can either hold the door open to let in other viruses, or it can nail the door shut and keep its new home to itself. 

The team at the Centre for Virus Research in Glasgow used a replica of the lining of our airways, made out of the same types of cells, and infected it with Sars-CoV-2 and rhinovirus, which is one of the most widespread infections in people, and a cause of the common cold. 

If rhinovirus and Sars-CoV-2 were released at the same time, only rhinovirus is successful. If rhinovirus had a 24-hour head start then Sars-CoV-2 does not get a look in. And even when Sars-CoV-2 had 24-hours to get started, rhinovirus boots it out. 

Dr Pablo Murcia told BBC News: "This is absolutely exciting because if you have a high prevalence of rhinovirus, it could stop new Sars-CoV-2 infections". 

Similar effects have been seen before. A large rhinovirus outbreak may have delayed the 2009 swine flu pandemic in parts of Europe.

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