• Question: do you think there will ever be a cure for the common cold, if so how far away are we from finding it.

    Asked by pencilcase to Bethany, Hannah, Keith, Peter, Ramya on 24 Jun 2014.
    • Photo: Bethany Dearlove

      Bethany Dearlove answered on 24 Jun 2014:


      The common cold is actually caused by lots of different viruses, including rhinovirus, human coronavirus, influenza viruses and adenoviruses. As there are so many viruses involved, and each one of them can rapidly mutate to try and outsmart us, I don’t think there will be a ‘catch-all’ cure for the common cold soon.

    • Photo: Peter Elliott

      Peter Elliott answered on 24 Jun 2014:


      The common cold viruses mutate so rapidly that we cannot hope to develop a vaccination for all of them.

      Every year virologists (people who study viruses) try to work out what influenza virus will cause the most illness that year and so try to develop a vaccine against it. As far as I am aware this is very hit and miss as predictions dont always come true.

    • Photo: Hannah Tanner

      Hannah Tanner answered on 25 Jun 2014:


      I agree with Bethany and Peter that the things that prevent a cure are the massive variety of viruses and how quickly they can change.

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