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The common cold can apparently kick the coronavirus out of your system

A new study suggests the common cold can send COVID-19 packing out of your body’s cells

Davena Amezquita is tested for COVID-19 outside of the Utah Department of Health in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.
Davena Amezquita is tested for COVID-19 outside of the Utah Department of Health in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. A new study from the University of Glasgow suggests the virus that causes the common cold can kick COVID-19 out of your system.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

A new study from the University of Glasgow suggests the virus that causes the common cold can kick COVID-19 out of your system.

  • The study says the viruses compete against each other to cause infection in their hosts. In this case, the rhinovirus — which creates the common cold — can take down the novel coronavirus.
  • “The benefits might be short-lived but rhinovirus is so widespread, they add, it could still help to suppress COVID,” BBC News reports.

How does it work?

  • Here’s how BBC News explains it: “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 researchers — who work at the Centre for Virus Research in Glasgow — used a replica of our airways to track what would happen if the rhinovirus and the novel coronavirus were released at the same time.

  • Only the rhinovirus was effective in infecting the replica.
  • “Sars-CoV-2 never takes off, it is heavily inhibited by rhinovirus,” 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.”

Does the common cold protect you from COVID-19?

The research is still unclear about whether the common cold can stop coronavirus infection.

What’s next

The researchers said in a release they will look at how the rhinovirus and the coronavirus interact together to understand more about transmission.