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The cold war
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Has medicine finally found the cure for the common cold? Well, if you fancy a high tech approach which involves sticking a molecule up your nose, you might at least suffer fewer symptoms

Has medicine finally found the cure for the common cold? Well, if you fancy a high tech approach which involves sticking a molecule up your nose, you might at least suffer fewer symptoms.

Around 70 per cent of colds are caused by the rhinovirus bugs, which attach themselves to the upper respiratory tract. So researchers in the US have come up with the idea of using a product called ICAM-1 (intercellular adhesion molecule 1) which apparently stops the virus from sticking to the nose and throat lining.

When they tried it out on 44 volunteers, who were all given the rhinovirus infection, they all said their cold symptoms were reduced. The trouble is what about the 30 per cent of colds not caused by the virus?

Oh well, back to the drawing board (JAMA, 1999; 281: 1844-5).


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