No one wants to catch a cold. In the best of times, they make you miserable. But right now, when any cough or sniffle can scare you out of your own skin, the stakes are even higher.
We all have the same thought at the first sniffle, cough, or sneeze. “Is this COVID? Has omicron come for me?”
When you learn it’s just a cold, the relief is real.
But then it isn’t long before the misery sets in. And by the time you start on your second box of tissues, if you’re like most folks, you’re praying for it to end.
Well, I’ve got a little secret to share with you that could have you quickly turning from grumbly to grateful. Because researchers say that a run-of-the-mill cold might help reduce your risk of catching the dreaded coronavirus.
Allow me to explain…
The silver lining to a cold cloud
If it turns out your mild winter illness is just a common cold, you’re in luck. Because in a way, it’s almost like training for your immune system.
Researchers looked at data on 52 people exposed to the coronavirus by someone who was sick in their own home. It’s one of the most common paths of transmission for obvious reasons.
Except, half of this group DIDN’T get sick, despite that up-close exposure.
And according to the scientists, their ability to evade the virus wasn’t just luck. Plus, it wasn’t that the vaccine simply worked “better” for them than others.
It turns out the folks who avoided the infection had gone through a recent battle with the common cold. And the researchers say that experience left their immune system with an extra stash of infection-fighting T-cells.
Those cells just so happen to be a very nice fit for the coronavirus. And they go to work against it in a way that even the vaccines don’t.
Cold triggered T-cells could help shield against COVID
The coronavirus vaccines work by targeting the infamous spike proteins on the virus’s surface that make the bug so dangerous. And while the shots are incredibly effective, there is a downside to this approach.
The spike protein has been changing as the variants emerge. And that could potentially make the vaccines a bit less effective over time.
On the other hand, your T-cells target a protein deep inside the virus. And they typically don’t change as much. This may be why the study suggests that any leftover bonus protection you might get from having a cold could even last longer than the antibody response created by vaccines.
Now, having had a recent cold is by no means a guarantee you won’t catch COVID if you’re exposed to the virus. But the silver lining to that sniffle and sneeze fest is it could give you an extra boost to help you evade it.
Don’t make THIS big mistake
Oh, and one more thing. There are reports of folks trying to deliberately get infected with omicron. Apparently, they’re hoping they can get sick, recover, and move on without worry because of a higher level of immunity.
I can’t express enough how BAD of an idea that is. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the coronavirus, it’s that our reactions to it can be very unpredictable.
There’s no assurance COVID will be mild for anyone. Some folks have manageable symptoms while others die. Plus, you can infect others who could also end up with severe or deadly infections.
So continue to be as careful as you can to reduce your risk for developing COVID-19 as well as other winter illnesses.
And if you do happen to catch a cold, think about that silver lining as you take steps to speed your recovery.
You know the basics, like good sleep and chicken soup. But you also might want to pick up some zinc lozenges. Research suggests they could shorten the duration of your illness, so you’re back on your feet faster.
See my recent report, Shave DAYS off the common cold, for more on this.
Latest posts by Alice Jacob (see all)
- Build muscle strength with ‘PINK POWER’ secret - May 23, 2022
- Common pain meds DOUBLE chance of chronic backache - May 23, 2022
- The REAL reason your UTIs keep coming back - May 22, 2022