Can You Catch A Cold When You Already Have One?

The common cold occurs because of an infection of the upper respiratory tract that is caused by not just one, but at least five different cold viruses. The most common virus causing a cold is the rhinovirus. The rhinovirus accounts for more than 50 percent of all infections. Furthermore, each of these five viruses further has many different strains, known as serotypes. It is believed that there are more than 100 serotypes of the rhinovirus alone. In fact, there are more than 200 virus serotypes that can cause the common cold. There is no cure for the common cold, except for bearing it out and taking over-the-counter lozenges or nasal drops for relief. Natural remedies also only focus on providing relief from the symptoms, but there is no known cure for the common cold as of yet. What perhaps does not come as good news to those who are particularly susceptible to catching a cold, is that it is actually possible for a person to catch two colds at the same time. Let’s see how this is possible.

Can You Catch A Cold When You Already Have One?

Can You Catch A Cold When You Already Have One?

Having a cold is very bothersome. You are constantly sneezing, your nose feels stuffy, you are unable to breathe properly, and not to mention you may also come down with a cough. The common cold is a resultant of an upper respiratory tract infection that can be caused by up to five different types of viruses, the most common of these being the rhinovirus. Each of these viruses has different strains. In fact, there are over 100 strains of rhinovirus alone. Due to the fact that several different types and strains exist of the common cold virus, it is possible for you to become infected by two cold viruses at the same time. Here’s all you need to know about cold viruses, getting two colds at the same time, and how you can reduce your risk of catching a cold.

How Is It Possible To Get Two Colds At One Time?

All of us know that during the cold and flu season, it is common to experience more than one cold. However, does this mean that it is also possible to have two colds at the same time? Well, the answer is yes. If you feel like you have been having a cold forever, then it is likely that you came down with one cold first and then got a second one as well at the same time. So how does this happen? Let us understand how the immune system fights off the common cold to understand how you can be afflicted with two colds at the same time.

Once you become infected with the cold virus, it takes your immune system around four days to start producing antibodies that will tag and destroy the virus particles along with the infected cells. However, these antibodies are highly specific to the particular serotype of the virus that has infected you.

Therefore, when you get infected by two different strains of the cold virus, each infection will require a separate immune response. However, it is possible that sometimes this second ‘cold’ actually turns out to be a separate, opportunistic co-infection because your immune system is already under stress from the cold virus.

Furthermore, the lining of your nose and throat becomes damaged when you have a cold, and it is possible that your already-stressed immune system allows some viruses and bacteria to get into your body, which otherwise would not have been able to enter. Hence, diseases like bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat and otitis media, can also be other infections that can attack your body when you are down with a cold.

In such scenarios, you will often hear people complaining that they have been sick forever during the cold and flu season. However, this probably just means that they have been getting one infection after the other and the blending of these infections make it appear like one long illness. Since the common cold is spread easily through the air as well as by coming in direct contact with contaminated objects, it is quite easy to catch. And once infected, the cold will cause the familiar symptoms of a sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, even coughing, congestion, etc.

Often a common cold can be confused with the flu and vice versa. When you have the flu, you tend to feel really sick and have body ache, fever, headache, etc. With a cold, though, you usually just have a runny nose, congestion, dry cough, and sinus pressure. However, this does not make you bed ridden.

How to Reduce the Risk of Catching a Cold?

There is really no sure shot way of protecting yourself against the common cold. However, by paying attention to cleanliness and being attentive can possibly reduce your risk of exposure. This is why it is so important to keep on washing your hands to avoid this highly transmissible virus. You need to wash your hands more times than you think you need to. It’s not always necessary to take a doctors opinion whenever you have cold, but if you notice your symptoms changing or if you come down with a higher fever, or any out of the ordinary symptoms, then it is advisable to visit your doctor. The best advice for maintaining good health throughout the year, of course, is that you eat healthily, exercise regularly, pay attention to your stress levels and get an adequate amount of sleep.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 5, 2018

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