The common cold could provide significant protection against Covid-19, a new study has suggested. The study found that the rhinovirus effectively kicked coronavirus out of the body's cells.
Researchers from the University of Glasgow found that rhinovirus, which causes the cold, effectively kicked coronavirus out of the body's cells and could help suppress the Covid-19 outbreak.
The team used a replica of the lining of human airways and cells and infected it with Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and rhinovirus. They found that if both viruses were released at the same time, only the rhinovirus was successful, and if the common cold had a 24-hour head start, then coronavirus wasn't able to infect the cells at all.
And if coronavirus was released into the cells a day before, rhinovirus kicked it out of the cells, and the researchers found that rhinovirus triggered an immune response inside the infected cells.
However, Covid-19 would still be able to cause an infection once the cold had passed.
"Sars-CoV-2 never takes off, it is heavily inhibited by rhinovirus. This is absolutely exciting because if you have a high prevalence of rhinovirus, it could stop new Sars-CoV-2 infections," Dr Pablo Murcia told BBC.
Murcia insisted that vaccinations and social distancing can have a significant effect on the spread of coronavirus.
"Vaccination, plus hygiene measures, plus the interactions between viruses could lower the incidence of Sars-CoV-2 heavily, but the maximum effect will come from vaccination," he added.