Well, it happens. After you've had a cold you can finally breathe again … right when you hear sneezing, sniffing, and hawking from your partner, Cubemate, or someone else who's basically always in your room. Looks like your old cold has a new home.
The last thing you want is to fight back from the disease you just stepped on. But is that even possible? Here are experts for infectious diseases, which findings the cold twice.
First of all, you should know that various and extremely irreverent viruses can trigger colds.
These include the rhinovirus (the common source of the common virus) common cold), respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, coronavirus and metapneumovirus according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1
Each virus also has subcategories of genetic diversity called serotypes (or tribes), or dr. Alexander L. Greninger, Deputy Director of the University of Washington Medicine Clinical Virology Lab, tells SELF. Grenovirus for example has declared over 100 serotypes . Greninger.
They will not catch the same virus serotype again after they have improved. However, you can still catch a cold from another virus serotype or other virus.
If you become ill you develop antibodies to the virus serotype that you caught, Dr. Greninger. This will prevent you from catching it again immediately. However, these antibodies do not necessarily protect you from other forms of the virus.
Suppose you catch the serotype HRV (Human Rhinovirus) -A60 and then improve immediately if your partner catches HRV-C17. If your body is prone to this new rhinovirus serotype, you may catch a cold again.
Alternatively, you may have just defeated a coronavirus and then shortly after received a rhinovirus from your cubemate. Yes, that seems unfair. Submit your complaints to evolution and let us know when you are listening back.
This does not mean that you always get sick if you are exposed to a virus or virus serotype that is different from the one you just passed. You may have developed antibodies to some circulating virus serotypes due to previous colds. Although this is not a guarantee, antibodies to a virus serotype can sometimes protect against closely related serotypes (Merck Manuals .) Although this is possible, it is quite unlikely that you will get two colds back to back in the cold same cold and flu season.
It is rare for two cryogenic virus serotypes to circulate at the same time of year in a parish with the same intensity Waleed Javaid MD, Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Mount Sinai Downtown, told SELF. So, if you get sick and someone in the immediate vicinity gets sick right after you, you might both have the dominant serotype you're already protected against. (Of course, they may have traveled and had another dominant disease than anywhere else, but in general, they've probably just caught a cold.)
This may be the case even if you have two different symptoms. If your cold was mainly causing your nose to run and your throat is scratching, but your partner has coughing (congestion ) and body pain, that's not a sign that you have had another virus or virus serotype, dr. Javaid says.
Instead, it may be easy for your immune system to focus on fending off the same virus serotype in different parts of your body and causing different symptoms, Dr. Greninger. That's the beauty of genetic diversity between two people. It may also be that you both have the same core symptoms, but due to " mediated pain ," additional symptoms occur, which is essentially the case when one part of your body causes discomfort in another all your systems are connected
Without laboratory tests, it is fundamentally impossible to know with certainty whether you and another person have received the same virus or virus serotype. You are still welcome to trace your cold to the one person who came to work, although apparently they should have been stacked under blankets in bed.
If you feel ill again after you've just overcome a cold, you may not have survived it at first.
You may be feeling residual symptoms of the original virus, Dr. Greninger. Maybe your body is rebelling because you pushed too hard without being fully healed, or maybe the cold just hangs around when you're used to it, Dr. Greninger.
It is normal for a cold to be anywhere between one week and 10 days after the Mayo Clinic . If your cold causes dramatically worse sinus pain, headaches, or sore throats than you're used to, or if a fever over 101.3 degrees produces a fever lasting more than five days, or a fever after a fever-free period, It's time for medical help, says the Mayo Clinic . This also applies if you experience wheezing or shortness of breath. A doctor's appointment can help to rule out or treat problems such as a secondary bacterial infection.
For your information, it is possible to obtain the same viral serotype when the next cold and flu season occurs (not that you? I know it anyway.)
Viruses are mutating so badly that sometimes the immunities you developed are no longer effective. Rhinovirus is known to rapidly mutate .
Influenza viruses that cause the flu are another example, says dr. Javaid. They change enough each year that new flu vaccines are needed to combat this season's dominant flu viruses. However, it usually takes a while for viruses to develop so they are no longer protected against a serotype, Dr. Javaid. It would rarely mutate in your community so that you could catch it again in the same season, he adds.
Taking steps to avoid becoming ill is far easier than finding out if someone has a cold other than a cold that you might be at risk of having a common cold.
You may have heard that you should throw away your toothbrush wash your sheets, or disinfect the house after illness to avoid re-illness. Since you do not have to worry about getting the same serotype, Dr. Javaid and Dr. Greninger states that these steps are not necessary to prevent re-infection.
If you're trying to prevent a partner or someone else you might live with if you get sick from your cold, and frequently disinfecting surfaces that you constantly touch, such as door knobs, is a good idea. After about a week, you are usually no longer infectious, according to the Cleveland Clinic so a good time to wash shared items like bedsheets would be.
Other Tips: Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom and blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, says the CDC . In a related sense, coughing and sneezing into tissues or the upper shirt sleeves, to avoid spraying your germs through the air. Stay home from work, if at all possible. If this is not the case, avoid touching other people and remove them when coughing or sneezing, and often disinfect items that you touch. Nobody wants to be Gwyneth Paltrow in Contagion .