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Coronavirus: How the common cold can boot out Covid

The virus that causes the common cold can effectively boot the Covid virus out of the body's cells, say researchers.

Some viruses are known to compete in order to be the one that causes an infection.

And University of Glasgow scientists say it appears cold-causing rhinovirus trumps coronavirus.

The benefits might be short-lived but rhinovirus is so widespread, they add, it could still help to suppress Covid.


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  • Coronavirus doctor's diary: Will Covid be with us forever, like flu?


Think of the cells in your nose, throat and lungs as being like a row of houses. Once a virus gets inside, it can either hold the door open to let in other viruses, or it can nail the door shut and keep its new home to itself.

Influenza is one of the most selfish viruses around, and nearly always infects alone. Others, such as adenoviruses, seem to be more up for a houseshare.


There has been much speculation about how the virus that causes Covid, known as Sars-CoV-2, would fit into the mysterious world of "virus-virus interactions".

The challenge for scientists is that a year of social distancing has slowed the spread of all viruses and made it much harder to study.







By James Gallagher

Health and science correspondent



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