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Why can't we cure the common cold?

The 7 Identified Virus Families

Scientists to date have identified seven virus families that cause the majority of colds:

  • rhinovirus
  • the new 2019
  • influenza
  • parainfluenza
  • adenovirus
  • respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  • metapneumovirus.

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Why can't we cure the common cold?

Why can't we cure the common cold?

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/oct/06/why-cant-we-cure-the-common-cold

theguardian.com

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Key Ideas

The Common Cold

With over 200 different kinds of viruses that make up the common cold, Science is struggling to find a cure.

Adults suffer this elusive, widespread, and infectious disease 2 to 4 times a year, and children up to 10 times.

The 7 Identified Virus Families

Scientists to date have identified seven virus families that cause the majority of colds:

  • rhinovirus
  • the new 2019
  • influenza
  • parainfluenza
  • adenovirus
  • respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  • metapneumovirus.

Vaccines vs Drugs

For Doctors, vaccines are preferable to drugs as they protect the host even before any infection.

For Pharmaceutical companies (Big Pharma), vaccines don't spell money, as much as over-the-counter drugs and treatment do.

Big Pharma is wary of investing

Due to a low possibility of any success, and spectacular failures in the last 100 years, pharma companies are wary of investing time, resources and capital in any new research for the common cold.

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A lesson from history

Near the end of World War One, the Spanish flu infected over a quarter of the world's population and claimed between 50 and 100 million lives.

During this pandemic, cities around the US ...

The spread of the new virus
  • If you are infected and continue to socialize as normal, you may pass the virus on to between two and three friends or family members, who could then infect a further 2 - 3 people. In one month, this can lead to 244 other cases, and in two months, it can rise to 59,604
  • A silent transmission - people who have been infected, but don't show any symptoms - can occur in up to 10% of cases. These people may not realize that they need to self-isolate.
  • There is evidence that staying at home and maintaining a safe distance from others can slow the spread.
The aim of social distancing

One of the goals of social distancing is to delay the spread of the virus, so it reaches people more slowly

The idea is to lengthen the time period over which the virus travels through a population and push the peak number of cases back so it appears later. With a lower rate of spreading, less infected people will need urgent care and resources at any given time.

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Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day

Everyone has a different requirement for water. Temperature, humidity, size, age, gender and activity have an influence on your fluid needs.

Instead, drink when you are thirsty.

Eggs Harm Your Heart

Eggs have a lot of cholesterol compared to other foods. Although cholesterol in the blood is strongly related to heart disease, eating cholesterol is weakly associated with raising the cholesterol levels in your blood.

Eggs have other heart-protecting properties and eating it probably won't harm your heart.

Cancer or Alzheimer’s From Antiperspirant
  • A chain email in the 1990s was responsible for the false belief that antiperspirant was raising the risk of breast cancer. 
  • When researchers found higher ratios of aluminum in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, aluminum in antiperspirant was suspect. But it seems aluminum in antiperspirant is hardly absorbed by your skin.

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Outbreak terms
  • Endemic is a disease that regularly infects humans, like the flu.
  • Pandemic is a worldwide spread of a new disease. 
  • Epidemic
Public health measures
  • Social distancing is a slew of tactics meant to keep people at a six feet distance from each other to keep droplets from an infected person's nose or mouth from landing on another person.
  • Quarantine is restricting the movement of, or isolating, people who might have been exposed to an infection but who aren't sick.
  • Isolation is separating people with confirmed or probable infections from other healthy people.
  • Lockdown is a term used by public health officials or lawyers to refer to anything from mandatory geographic quarantine to non-mandatory recommendations to shelter in place, to anything in between.
  • Cordon sanitaire is the restriction of movement in and out of a region or city.
  • Shelter in place is an order requesting people to stay at home, except for trips to the grocery store, pharmacies, and other essential errands.
Medical equipment
  • A ventilator is a machine that assists a patient in breathing when they have trouble breathing on their own.
  • PPE (Personal protective equipment), such as masks, gloves, face shields, and other gear that keeps health care workers from catching an infection.
  • A respirator is a face mask that seals around the mouth and filters out particles from the air before they are breathed in.
  • Surgical mask or face mask are loose-fitting masks that don't filter out all the particles but stop a wearer from spreading droplets of contagion when they sneeze or cough.

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