Tests show common cold virus stopping coronavirus infection – dpa international


An almost empty west of Ireland street in early March 2021, 10 weeks into the country’s 3rd Covid lockdown. Some say such measures have led to a fall in the number cold and flu cases in Europe and North America

DUBLIN — The humble common cold virus blocks or displaces its deadlier Sars-Cov-2 counterpart from the human respiratory system, according to new research by a British-based team of scientists.

In article published on Tuesday by the Journal of Infectious Diseases, the team said the cold virus also “triggers an innate immune response that blocks Sars-Cov-2 replication within the human respiratory epithelium.”

Such “interference,” according to the researchers, who are mostly from the University of Glasgow, “might cause a population-wide reduction in the number of new Covid-19 infections.”

Rhinoviruses that cause the common cold are “the most prevalent respiratory viruses of humans,” according to the paper.

Sars-Cov-2 is a type of coronavirus that emerged in China in late 2020 and sometimes leads to Covid-19, a largely respiratory disease that can prove fatal, particularly in older people already suffering serious health problems.

Over 2.7 million Covid-related deaths have been reported worldwide out of almost 124 million cases, according to national statistics collated by Johns Hopkins University.

Around 460 million doses of Covid vaccine have been administered worldwide, according to a University of Oxford database. Several Covid jabs were developed in less than a year, though there is no inoculation against the relatively-mild common cold.

Influenza case numbers fell across most of the northern hemisphere during the usual “flu season” either side of the new year, seemingly curtailed by social distancing measures and lockdowns imposed to slow the spread of Covid-19. Scientists have warned flu immunity levels could drop ahead of next winter, however.

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