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Can the common cold really protect you from Covid?

Yes, it can. Many common cold viruses are coronaviruses, and people with higher levels of T cells from suffering cold coronaviruses are less likely to become infected with Covid, but it depends on the presence of T cells at the time of exposure to the virus.

Dr. Rhia Kundu, first author of a study from Imperial College's National Heart and Lung Institute that examines why being exposed to Covid doesn't always result in an infection, says: "We found that high levels of pre-existing T cells, created by the body when infected with other human coronaviruses like the common cold, can protect against Covid-19 infection."

Blood samples from 52 people were taken within one to six days of exposure to the virus so researchers could analyze the levels of pre-existing T cells induced by previous common cold coronavirus infections. In the 26 people who didn't get Covid, there were significantly higher levels of these cross-reactive T cells compared to the 26 people who did become infected.

Prof Ajit Lalvani, Director of the NIHR Respiratory Infections Health Protection Research Unit at Imperial College London and senior author of the study, says: "Our study provides the clearest evidence to date that T cells induced by common cold coronaviruses play a protective role. These T cells provide protection by attacking proteins within the virus, rather than the spike protein.

"New vaccines that include these conserved, internal proteins would therefore induce broadly protective T cell responses that should protect against current and future SARSCoV-2 variants."

What is acute sinusitis?

We have four parts of sinuses in the skull bones of the face. They are filled with air to make the skull light and to give the voice resonance. But they can become infected, producing yellow pus and causing quite severe facial pain.


A blocked or stuffy nose causes difficulty breathing through your nose, facial pain, and thick, yellow-green mucus running from your nose or down the back of your throat. Tenderness, swelling, and pressure around your eyes, cheeks, nose, or forehead that worsens when bending over. You may also have a toothache, headaches, an altered sense of smell, ear pressure, fever, and fatigue.

What causes it?

Viruses are the commonest cause of sinusitis and they can accompany colds and flu. When it turns into a bacterial infection, the discharge turns yellowish-green.


Most cases of acute sinusitis get better on their own, especially if you use steam inhalation. Antibiotic usually isn't needed because it is caused by a virus and not by bacteria. However, severe or persistent symptoms may require them. Medical treatments include a saline nasal spray to rinse your nasal passages, a nasal steroid spray that helps curb and treat inflammation, and decongestants in liquid, tablet, or spray form.

Nasal polyps and allergies should be excluded by an ear, nose, and throat specialist.


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