If catching a cold is unpleasant for everyone, it could be useful for those affected by protecting them against the seasonal flu.
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This is the main conclusion that emerges from a new study from Yale University, published in the journal of medical science The Lancet Microbe.
The study authors analyzed three years of data from more than 13,000 patients and found that antibodies generated when the body fights off a common cold – a virus that is part of the “rhinovirus” family – are helpful in fend off the virus that causes seasonal flu, also called “influenza”.
“When we looked at the data, it became clear that very few people had both viruses at the same time,” Ellen Foxman, lead author of the study, said in a statement.
The researchers explained, however, that the study did not take into account the impacts of the rhinovirus on the possibility of catching COVID-19, and that the new coronavirus was simply not a subject of the study.
The seasonal flu period of 2018-2019 was the longest for 5 years in Canada. Each year, approximately 300 people die of seasonal flu in Quebec. Globally, the number of deaths from seasonal influenza fluctuates between 290,000 and 650,000 annually.