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.
- For example, a study released in August 2020 found that some people avoid COVID-19 symptoms because of the protection they built from the common cold, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.
- But in February 2021, a study reveals that the common coronaviruses — which can create childhood colds — don’t limit COVID-19 symptoms, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.