What is going on when cold's last over 2 weeks?

Jamie Cunliffe jamie_cunliffe at email.msn.com
Fri Dec 27 16:58:12 EST 2002

"Dan Marquez" <dmarquez3 at socal.rr.com> wrote in message news:<%daM9.151965$%k2.40007335 at twister.socal.rr.com>...
> My friends and I are just getting over a cold that we caught on  
> November 28, the day we were exposed to it. Symptoms appeared a day or 
> two later. 
> What's interesting is this cold was not shaken off in a week like are 
> most colds.
> Why would colds linger?  I can think of...
> - mutating viruses cannot be marked by IgG
> - a larger-than-normal delay for CTL's , NK's, and macrophages to 
> recognize infected cells
> - cytokines linger
> - viruses do not have MBL
> - IFN-gamma does not stop all cells from virus production
> - cold weather makes IgA ineffective in mucus
> - the number of viruses released per popped cell is higher
> - the virus made us temporarily more sensitive to allergens
> - the immune system made us more sensitive to allergens
> - a secondary infection caused by a tough bacteria
> Note: cold's always go to my chest. My friend only got a nose cold and a 
> sore throat.
> Dan

Well, this is my opinion! Part of the problem in trying to understand
what is happening is to abandon the concept that the immune system is
trying to eradicate the infection. It is trying to identify sick cells
and it is learning the signature of sick cells that spilled their
contents on a previous occasion. Elimination of the virus is not a
foregone conclusion. An attack on self cells (hopefully, mostly those
that share a "signature" like those that died in an uncontrolled way
early on in the infection) follows but this does not always result in
a clean elimination just sick cells. Both auto-aggression (often
allergic sequelae) and focal immune suppression (that focally shuts
off excessive self aggression) occur commonly as a sequel to virus
infection. The first causes the persisting heavy catarrh and the
second increases the chances of secondary infection. No small wonder
then, that a mixture of steroid and antibiotics are very helpful in
treating infections like this that persist beyond 10 days. The biggest
clue to secondary infection is the pussy appearance of the catarrh.

The old simplistic view of the immune system as a bug hunting and
eradicating system is almost certainly far too shallow (see my website
below). I have had a lot of hysterical rejection of these "heresies"
but the proof of the pudding is in the eating and, as time goes by,
less and less of it is turning out to be refutable. Bits will be
refuted but I have never suggested that all of it will prove to be

> --

More information about the Immuno mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net