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.”
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Do I have the coronavirus or a cold?

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.

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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.