Could New Innovations End the Common Cold?
Every year, the common cold strikes. As temperatures drop and sneezing, coughing, and sniffling begin to appear, millions of people come down with the common cold. If you feel like you’ve had the common cold more times than you can count, you’re right: the CDC reports that Americans suffer from 1 billion colds every year. On average, adults suffer through 3 annual infections, while children contract 5 to 10 bouts of the cold.
Though the common cold returns every year, there’s no cure for the disease. We’re left to suffer through its miserable germs and symptoms again and again, with no cold-free future in sight.
For centuries, this same illness has infected entire populations. But with new research, scientific innovation, and breakthrough medical discoveries, could the end of common cold finally be possible?
The Common Cold: Impossible to Cure?
If the common cold keeps coming back with the same symptoms and same infection patterns every year, why is it so difficult to find a cure? The problem is that the common cold never returns in exactly the same way or the same form.
Each year, the common cold grows stronger. The virus mutates, adapting to avoid our treatment attempts and becoming resistant to medication. And, as The Guardian reports, over 200 different viruses are responsible for causing the symptoms collectively known as the common cold. These hundreds of different virus strains make it difficult to develop specific and effective solutions.
As scientists continue to look for ways to combat this persistent infection, in the hopes of effectively controlling or eliminating it, the viruses continue to adapt and mutate. They devise new ways to infect you, new ways to enter the body, and new ways to spread the same symptoms.
Colds are Always Changing
Cold viruses are most contagious during the first 24 hours of infection. Though it’s easy to diagnose yourself when a cold is contracted, recovery is challenging. The average cold takes two full weeks to resolve, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Furthermore, there’s little medical professionals can do once you’re diagnosed with the common cold. After you heal, more people will be infected–and ultimately, once the virus mutates, you’ll be reinfected yourself with a new strain. Antibiotics have failed. Vaccines have failed. And if you suffer from more serious conditions, like COPD, asthma, or an autoimmune disease, you are often the worst affected.
If you’re one of the millions around the world hoping for a solution for the common cold, you may only have a little more time to wait. Here’s why.
The Breakthroughs That Could Stop Colds
Scientists have been working on various solutions for the common cold for decades. The first attempts occurred in the 1950s, according to The Guardian, when biologists tried developing the first cold vaccine. It failed, and so did every other cure or vaccine attempted.
But now, there’s hope. Despite previous failures, this year has seen surprising new advances in medicine–and these advances are making medical professionals optimistic.
Research is underway to find a more targeted medical approach to combat colds. A Dutch biotechnology company introduced a vaccine called SynGEM designed to address colds caused by one cold-connected virus, Business Insider reports. The hope is this nasal spray will prevent the spread of illness by blocking one popular strain of the common cold virus from entering the body through the nose.
This isn’t the only progress being made to cure the common cold. A recent study led by Australian researchers looked to the natural abilities of the human body to find a weapon against cold viruses. The researchers are now testing drugs that could help the body fight off the common cold for good. Initial results show this medication could drastically improve symptoms and stop the spread of the common cold.
Is the Future Free From The Common Cold?
You might not be able to walk into your doctor’s office and be cured of your cold yet, but with new innovations in testing, it may be just a matter of time before the common cold is a thing of the past.
As these common cold developments undergo testing and become the newest medications, vaccines, or symptom management options, it’s important to stay informed. You may not need to suffer the aches, pains, and symptoms of the common cold any longer. Keep yourself updated on the potential remedies, and know when it’s time to end the common cold for yourself and those around you.