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Dan_Lyons's avatar

Is it true that we still can't cure the common cold nor the flu virus, nor even most viruses?

Asked by Dan_Lyons (5452points) May 14th, 2014

I’m aware we can somewhat slow down the HIV virus, and we can target specific viruses which don’t hide behind our nervous system on nerve endings like the herpes virus (apparently still incurable) but for the most part we must suffer through till the virus runs its course.
Is this still where modern medicine and science are?

Also, please feel free to provide us with any remedies you may have to help relieve the awful feelings of these colds and flus.

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12 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Bacteria and viruses evolve constantly.

flip86's avatar

Where is the profit in a cure?

josie's avatar

It is true

Haleth's avatar

The common cold is a collection of a fuckton of different viruses. As soon as our immune systems beat one, there’s a brand new one.

Viruses mutate all the time. There are probably too many different strains out there for us to keep up with them.

JLeslie's avatar

It’s true. The common cold is especially difficult since so many strains of virus cause it. Mostly strains of the rhinovirus. Plus, I doubt there is a ton of motivation to cure it since it rarely is deadly. However, I recently read there has been some work regarding rhinovirus that has been focused on a particular protein I think (you would have to check the science on it) trying to find a common thread that could help find a cure or vaccine I guess.

The antiviral medications for HIV and herpes help to reduce the viral duplication. The two viruses are different, and so you can’t just lump them together in terms of how treatments work, but with these even if you are not sick, you are not cured as you point out, and can infect others. While something like flu or a cold, eventually you are cured and will not infect others.

Viruses are tricky and cause all sorts of very different illnesses. The best bet for treatment is actually prevention. Vaccines and staying away from everyone. LOL.

Rememdies for a cold are, you can take something for it and be sick for a week, or take nothing and be sick for week. I suggest Choroseptic spray if your cold began with a sore throat the first couple of days, and then when the congestion starts take a good antihystamine plus decongestant medication. Rest and keep hydrated. Sleep with your head fairly elevated. Steam up a small bathroom with a hot shower to loosen phlegm. Breath the steam for a few minutes then turn the shower temp down to take a shower and continue breathing the steam that is still in the bathroom. A little ibuprofen (400mg’s) can help make you feel better during the day if you need to put on airs and hide your illness.

For flu, keep the temperature down and rest. With the flu you rest whether you want to or not, because it knocks you off your ass for at least 4 days. Keep temperature down with cool compresses, ibuprofen or Tylenol, and stay ahead of the fever for the first few days. Literally, if you can, wake up in the middle of the night to take the medication. Ibuprofen needs to be taken by the 6 hour mark or the effects wear off. For high fever adults should take 600mg. It takes about 50 minutes for it to take effect from the time you swallow the pills. Stay hydrated. If you do take ibuprofen for the fever, it’s best to take it with some food to protect your tummy, so that is an excuse to get a little food in your tummy, but flu usually is accompanied by loss of appetite to some extent. Not surprising since you aren’t really moving much for days.

For both cold or flu or any viral illness never give aspirin to children while sick.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@JLeslie That was very thorough. I concur. I understand that apparently many people actually do defeat the herpes virus with their own natural defenses. But not all those infected are so lucky.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dan_Lyons The person is not considered free of the virus. There are people who never have an outbreak again from herpes, but they aren’t considered cured. They still can even shed the virus and not have an outbreak. Another is chicken pox. You can get over the chicken pox, but the varicella (herpes zoster) virus is there and can be re-activated, which results in shingles.

Winter_Pariah's avatar

As it is with bacteria and viruses, it is extraordinarily hard to counter things that constantly mutate and can share genetic defensive information with one another. However, little by little science has made headway such as this and this

Feel free to enjoy some feel good stories.

JLeslie's avatar

@Winter_Pariah It seems to me we have a much better handle on bacterias. There are some bacterias we cannot control, and certainly they continue to mutate, but we have much better meds for bacterias than for viruses.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

^^^ Yes, our antibiotics work quite well on living organisms, which viruses apparently are not.

JLeslie's avatar

Viruses are living and not living depending on who you ask and how you see it. They need a host cell to do their damage.

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