The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Do different classes of common cold virus differ in their specific type of cold?  (Read 4222 times)

Offline EnteroCoronaPicorna

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
I'll use a brief description of my most recent cold as example.
I'm 30 years old, male and quite healthy, from Los Angeles.

Recently in September I was hit with a common cold that was quite severe. The classic "nasal" sore throat set in and within hours progressed to the runny nose and sneezing, then malaise, fatigue, mild fever and night sweats.

Sore throat went away by the end of day 2, runny nose turned into congestion, fever waves continued 'til day 4. Then the illness progressed to a bad productive cough for days 5-10, then to a very mild productive cough lasting through day 22.

It ignited my interest in the fact that there are several different classes of virus that cause Upper Resp Infection. Over the years, each cold I've developed has often varied slightly in characteristics. Almost all start with the painfully nasal sore throat, but I have had a few that strangely hit with no sore throat at all.

Fevers for me are rare with colds. Another variable with colds Ive had is some consist mostly of only that icky sore throat but less profound nasal dischage, then they fade without causing a cough. Other times the throat or nose symptoms will start but be barely noticeable, then a few days later those disappear and yield into a severe chest cold.

So my question is what do you guys know about which classes of virus are liable to cause what symptom emphasis in URI's? How might Para-influenza seem different in an adult than Coronavirus? Are the colds that consist mostly of only a bad sore throat and mild runny nose but never fever/chest cold likely to be rhinovirus?

Might the flu-ish cold I just had have been caused by Enterovirus D-68 considering my heavy occupational contact with college kids?
« Last Edit: 14/10/2014 00:13:45 by EnteroCoronaPicorna »


 

Offline tartarusMkII

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
I've noticed that when ever I have a cold, I go through phases of symtpoms. I feel as though I am at the end of having my cold, but I wish I could know more about what to do to finish it up.  My friend advised me to use for the treatment of Siberian ginseng, any advice on this? I'm sick colds often, perhaps this is due to a genetically
« Last Edit: 25/12/2014 00:08:46 by evan_au »
 

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4120
  • Thanked: 245 times
    • View Profile
A few years ago I caught whooping cough (Pertussis).
This caused a continual urge to cough (and it is much worse in babies).
It is accurately nicknamed "the 100 days cough".
 

Offline Atomic-S

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 928
  • Thanked: 18 times
    • View Profile
There are many different viruses and bacteria, and you could well have caught different ones at different times. Many begin with cold-like symptoms but can cause serious illnesses, suggesting seeing a doctor in the event of  anything that seems out of the ordinary. Since analyzing all possible infections (to say nothing of treating them) is difficult, a good approach is general prevention.  Avoid overconsumption of sugary cookies, candies, etc.; which create a habitation in the throat favorable to germs. Get adequate protein, which seems to boost the immune system. Practice hygiene, particularly where sick people may have been. Take any of several preventive medications at the first symptoms of any problems, such as Vitamin C lozenges. 
 

Offline Atomic-S

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 928
  • Thanked: 18 times
    • View Profile
I might add that vaccines are suggested for anyone who may be at risk of being exposed to the applicable bugs.
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Perhaps you could say that our bodies have evolved to expel irritants through coughing, mucous production, generalized immune system response, and etc. 

Several diseases have evolved to utilize the body's defense mechanisms to augment their propagation.  Thus, one would expect several different diseases to have similar symptoms.  It may only be through advanced genetics that they can be differentiated. 

So, what you consider the "Cold" or "Flu" is actually the infection by one (or more) of a group of viruses.
  • Influenza A
  • Influenza B
  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
  • Adenovirus
  • Rhinovirus
  • Picornavirus
  • Coronavirus
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Along with some non-viral causes such as
  • Streptococcus
  • Pneumococcus (Streptococcus Pneumoniae)
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • Legionella pneumophila
(And Others)

So, your experience of slightly different symptoms may be caused by very different viruses or bacteria (or even a mix of infectious agents).

I believe that the same virus (or bacteria) may also affect different people differently.  I have never experienced a sinus infection, essentially an infection that enters the bones of the skull.  Yet, there are people that get a sinus infection with almost every "cold".  On the other hand, for me, the coughing tends to linger longer than I would otherwise expect it to. 

I also rarely experience the generalized malaise that some people experience from the flu. 

It would be noted that there is genetic variability in people such as the cystic fibrosis gene which may augment the body's ability to fight some respiratory diseases when carried as a heterozygous gene (but is a very damaging gene when carried as a homozygous gene).

As far as vaccines.  I fell into a gap in which the CDC did not recommend the pertussis vaccine (DPT) for adults due to side-effects, so while I got several DT boosters, I didn't get the DPT booster.  With a resurgence of the virus, they now have reformulated the vaccine for adults.  Perhaps I've had the pertussis virus infection???  I generally don't get the flu vaccine since I am at low risk, and don't get fulminant flu symptoms.  I did consider the swine flu vaccine, but chose to wait during the initial rollout for those high-risk patients, then it never seemed necessary later.  The pneumococcus vaccine isn't recommended for another decade or so.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
 
Login
Login with username, password and session length