Asked by: Erin Beach, Inverness
Flu and common colds are caused by different families of viruses, so it’s possible to have both in your body at the same time. But a lot of your immune response to one virus also makes conditions inhospitable for any other virus, so it is less likely that a second infection will take hold while you are fighting the first.
This so-called antiviral state doesn’t protect you against bacterial infections though. A lot of the deaths from flu are actually due to secondary bacterial pneumonia infections that can take hold while your immune system is busy fighting the flu.
- Will we ever find a cure for the flu?
- Why do colds so often start in the throat and work their way up to the nose?