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.
- Why do I feel cold and shiver when I have a fever?
- Can my immune system fight disease without me realising?
Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.