By now, we are truly hitting our stride with cold and flu season. With the ever-looming threat of COVID-19 increasing day-by-day, it can be daunting to prepare yourself to build up immunity and fight against viruses during the long, dark, and cold winter months. Many antibodies produced by other viruses in the human immune system have provided a certain amount of immunity to reinfection and drastic increase in the past, and researchers have been operating with that in mind while developing vaccine samples. It is suggested to be the most holistic, intuitive, and efficient approach.
Antibodies are “Proteins in the blood that are produced by the body in response to specific antigens (such as bacteria).” Our immune system is constantly creating antibodies in response to attacks on the body to help maintain balance. Physically attaching to pathogens, they communicate with our immune system itself to rid the body of impending threats.
Do common colds help protect us from COVID-19?
On November 6th, the American Association for the Advancement of Science published a study that suggests that antibodies produced by some types of the common could possibly help protect human beings against symptoms due to — and perhaps advancement of — COVID-19. The study itself was not done on purpose, as researchers were working on an entirely different project to enhance existing COVID-19 antibody testing at the time of the discovery. A nice sample size of patients who had never reported any COVID-19 symptoms and were assumed to have not been infected at any point since the outbreak began were reported to have a certain level of immunity to the virus itself.
After further research into this query, the scientists found that nearly 300 individuals possessed antibodies that cause the common cold and inherently protect against SARS-Cov-2. Almost half of the children who participated in the study group possessed antibodies that would be able to detect SARS-CoV-2. They are currently looking into why a higher percentage of children seemed to have more immunity markers than adults, though are linking back early findings to the fact that the majority of children experience some form of the common cold during cold and flu season.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that “common colds are the main reason that children miss school and adults miss work. Adults have an average of 2-3 colds per year, and children have even more.” In general, school-aged human beings are exposed to a larger number of people on a regular basis, and elementary school children notoriously have poorer hygiene habits.
Now, only time will tell if modern science will be able to utilize these cold antibodies to fight COVID-19. Just because researchers found that these particular antibodies can recognize the virus, doesn’t mean that they will be able to combat it with the efficiency and force required to break out of this messy pandemic, but it is an interesting and encouraging discovery that will fuel many other methods of thought. This moment in science may just define how we move forward with our vaccine options to heal this global crisis.
In addition to getting tested for antibodies in hopes to donate and contribute to the road for a vaccine and following the information on common cold antibodies closely over the coming months to see how they may be able to benefit you and your family, there are a few other things you will want to incorporate into your routine if you haven’t already to boost your immune system.
Incorporate a sense of balance in your life so that you don’t get underlying stress and burnout from your work environment. Add greenery to your space to enhance the air quality — and, in turn, your breathing — add a bit of ambiance, and inspire your work. Drink orange juice, curate and utilize a candle or aromatherapy collection to promote health and well being, listen to music. Bring some diversity to your day, and be willing to try things in moderation.
All of these options and more are suggested to help you better prepare your body to defend itself, may you experience COVID-19 or simply another round (or three) of the common cold.