Colds and Flu | Mixed Infections: Can You Get Two Colds at the Same Time?

Saturday, January 13, 2024 00:35

Just like the coldest time of year, colds are everywhere. You may have had it yourself, experienced it, or been around people who are constantly sneezing and coughing. Colds are common during the months when temperatures drop the most, compounded by an increase in flu and coronavirus cases this year, with the new Pirola variant increasing infection rates among the population.

With this epidemic of respiratory infections, you may feel very sick or take longer than usual to recover from a cold. One of the causes of this problem is coinfection, which is infection with two viruses and different bacteria at the same time. It’s not impossible, considering that there are up to 100 different species of bacteria that can cause the common cold, so having a few at the same time doesn’t seem far-fetched. Furthermore, one virus does not provide superior immunity to another virus and therefore does not reduce the risk of infection.

To this we must add that in a situation like the current one, with high infection rates, we are likely to be exposed to more than one different virus, so the risk of double infection increases.

The most suggestive data on coinfections come from studies of viruses that are more serious than colds, such as hepatitis and HIV. This leads to the conclusion that infection with a second bacterium can worsen, improve, or have no effect on the course of the disease.

However, based on the research done on influenza viruses to date, coinfections are rare, whereas with the common cold (which is more difficult to study because of the wide variety of strains that cause influenza), coinfections are common and can lead to mutations into new strains .

Ibuprofen or paracetamol?

In order to be able to choose paracetamol or ibuprofen when you have the flu, it is necessary to consult a professional who can prescribe the most appropriate drug. Typically, if inflammatory symptoms are predominant, ibuprofen may be the most appropriate choice, while for fever and pain without inflammation, paracetamol is often recommended. Selection should also be based on the individual’s tolerance of the medication and any pre-existing medical conditions.

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