Every year, you look forward to nice weather and fewer allergies. But waking up with a sore throat and runny nose can really dampen your spirits.
Even worse, you can get the common cold at any time, and there’s little you can do about it.
Believe it or not, the common cold might not be so incurable after all. Scientists have now discovered a molecule that might be the key to blocking cold viruses.
Indeed, the common cold is a nuisance for most people. But the study’s authors point out that it’s actually a health risk for people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
So the researchers developed a molecule that could block several strains of the rhinovirus.
According to Newsweek, the molecule works by attacking a protein found in the virus strains, not the virus itself. Since all strains of the cold virus use this protein, the molecule could just work against all of them.
You shouldn’t get your hopes too high yet.
Researchers need to confirm that their solution works in human trials too. For now, they have only tested it in the laboratory.
However, those lab tests showed the molecule completely blocking rhinovirus without becoming toxic to the cells themselves. If that finding pans out in humans, you might have to kiss sick days from work or school goodbye.
Millions Deal with Colds Every Year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of people get several bouts of the cold every year. It’s normal for adults to have 2-3 colds per year. Children can get far more because they lack immunity to the more than 200 strains.
In addition, colds are the most common cause for missed days at work or school. Without colds to worry about, what could you do with those extra 7-10 days (that’s how long most colds last)?
For adults with kids, this discovery could mean fewer cases of poliovirus or foot and mouth. For others, it could mean more time focusing on kids, careers or just feeling good overall.
A cure for the common cold may have sounded impossible one decade ago. In 2018, it seems anything could happen.