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Common Cold Can Give Some Protection

Natural defenses against a common Cold could offer some protection against Covid-19, too, The study, published in Nature Communications, involved 52 individuals who lived with someone who had just caught Covid-19.

Those who had developed a “memory bank” of specific immune cells after a – to help prevent future attacks – appeared less likely to get Covid. Experts say no one should rely on this defense alone, and vaccines remain key. They believe their findings could provide useful insight into how a body’s defense system fights the virus.

Covid-19 is caused by a type of coronavirus, and some Cold are caused by other coronaviruses – so scientists have wondered whether immunity against one might help with the other. The experts caution that it would be a “grave mistake” to think that anyone who had recently had a Cold was automatically protected against Covid-19 – as not all are caused by coronaviruses.The Imperial College London team wanted to comprehend better why some people catch Covid after being exposed to the virus and others do not.

They concentrate their study on a crucial part of the body’s immune system – T-cells. Some of these T-cells kill any cells infected by a specific threat – for example, a Cold virus.Once the Cold has gone, some T-cells remain in the body as a memory bank, ready to mount a defense when they next encounter the virus. In September 2020, researchers studied 52 people who had not yet been vaccinated but who lived with people who had just tested positive for Covid-19. Half the group went on to get Covid during the 28-day study period and a half did not.

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