Digital Exclusive: Could the common cold help fight COVID-19?

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A Yale university experimental study suggests that the common cold could help prevent COVID-19.

Although it’s possible, health experts say that doesn’t mean you should be trying to catch a cold.

“It’s is an important thing to note that it is an experimental study,” said Jonathan Gold, an MSU associate professor of pediatrics and human development.

Gold says it’s possible that your body can help build immunity to the coronavirus when you’re fighting off the seasonal cold.

“If you get a common cold then you have certain parts of the immune system that are revved up, and if COVID came along then COVID would be affected by the same parts of the immune system,” he said.

The experimental Yale study looked at cells and the body’s immune response.

Gold says the research was done in a lab in a very specific order Which is very different from how people actually come down with the cold.

“One way to get immunity is to get sick and then you get immunity, but then you have the potential for getting very sick and that’s not fun and you can even wind up in the hospital. I don’t think it’s a good idea to get the cold in order to prevent another virus,” said Gold.

“It’s in the journal of experimental medicine which means this is not something that’s ready to be taken and given to people as advice as an action that we won’t be able to take,” said. Dr. Bagdasarian.

Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian is the medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and says the research is still in the trial and error stage, and more studies on immune response need to be done.

So you should not be experimenting with the common cold.

“All of the chemicals are released when the body is exposed to an infectious agent but this is not something that’s ready for people to start adapting to their lives. You don’t know if that’s going to be a respiratory virus or another virus circulating it could be influenza and even put people in the hospital,” said Dr. Bagdasarian.

Dr. Bagdasarian and Gold say the best way to prevent COVID-19 is washing your hands, social distancing and getting vaccinated.

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