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Common cold can block influenza flu: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 07, 2020 Published on September 07, 2020

‘Very few people had both viruses — flu virus, and rhinovirus that causes common cold, sore throat, ear problems, sinuses — at the same time’

New research published in the journal The Lancet Microbe suggests that the presence of rhinovirus — infection that causes the common cold, sore throats, ear problems, and sinuses — can block the flu virus from infecting the airways.

According to the research, a Yale University team led by Dr Ellen Foxman examined over 13,000 patients with symptoms of respiratory infection for over three years.

Researchers found that during months when both the viruses were typically active, only one existed in the body and that was the common cold virus.

Foxman, an assistant professor of laboratory medicine and immunobiology, and senior author of the study was quoted as saying in the Independent: “When we looked at the data, it became clear that very few people had both viruses at the same time.”

However, Foxman also maintained that they are yet to figure out whether the annual seasonal spread of the common cold virus will have a similar impact on those exposed to the coronavirus.

“It is impossible to predict how two viruses will interact without doing the research,” she added.

Researchers found the tissues exposed to the rhinovirus remained uninfected by the influenza virus.

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Published on September 07, 2020
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