The "worst cold ever" is hitting the UK

Hip

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Lots of newspapers are reporting that the "worst cold ever" is currently going around the UK.

This cold causes symptoms similar to delta variant COVID (sore throat, cough, runny nose, lots of tiredness), but tests negative on COVID tests. And this cold can take much longer than normal to clear up.

Here is one article: BBC News: Is 'the worst cold ever' going around?


I believe I was hit with this cold 18 days ago, and I am only just getting back to normal now. It took a long time to shift, about two weeks.

I was sweating with a fever for the first few nights with this cold, bedsheets became quite damp, and my nose was constantly streaming.

Fatigue levels shot up, and I was sleeping much more. This cold reminded me of when my ME/CFS was at the severe point, when I would be sleeping for around 16 hours or more a day. At one point I though I might have caught another ME/CFS-associated virus, and was concerned that I might slip back into severe ME/CFS. But I seem to be getting back to normal now.

Two other people in my household caught this same cold, in one case they got over it quickly after 4 or 5 days, but in the other, it lingered. Multiple lateral flow tests all proved negative, as did a PCR test.


So if someone around you appears to have caught a cold, you might want to try your best to avoid catching it, as it is a real monster!
 
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lenora

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Oh thanks, @Hip, something else to look forward to. How do business's stay in business today?


On top of the above, some of us suffer never-ending allergies that have symptoms that are mighty close to those addressed. I guess we'll have another Xmas alone....university grankids, and boy do we want to see and hug them! Yours, Lenora
 
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I read something similar about the US this past summer: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/22/well/live/colds-summer-immunity.html

The article suggests the issue isn't that the cold itself was so severe, but rather our immune systems aren't used to fighting threats off due to Covid restrictions so our bodies didn't respond to the colds as well as they normally do.

Infectious disease experts say there are a number of factors fueling this hot, sneezy summer. While pandemic lockdowns protected many people from Covid-19, our immune systems missed the daily workout of being exposed to a multitude of microbes back when we commuted on subways, spent time at the office, gathered with friends and sent children to day care and school.

Although your immune system is likely as strong as it always was, if it hasn’t been alerted to a microbial intruder in a while, it may take a bit longer to get revved up when challenged by a pathogen again, experts say. And while some viral exposures in our past have conferred lasting immunity, other illnesses may have given us only transient immunity that waned as we were isolating at home.

“Frequent exposure to various pathogens primes or jazzes up the immune system to be ready to respond to that pathogen,” said Dr. Paul Skolnik, an immunovirologist and chair of internal medicine at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. “If you’ve not had those exposures, your immune system may be a little slower to respond or doesn’t respond as fully, leading to greater susceptibility to some respiratory infections and sometimes longer or more protracted symptoms.”
 

Hip

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The article suggests the issue isn't that the cold itself was so severe, but rather our immune systems aren't used to fighting threats off due to Covid restrictions so our bodies didn't respond to the colds as well as they normally do.
Yes, the same theory is being suggested in the UK newspapers at the moment. I guess there might be something to it.

Though I am one of those ME/CFS patients who rarely catches colds, so like many ME/CFS patients, my body is not used to fighting off colds.

And when I do catch colds on those rare occasions, they are normally no worse than normal. So that makes me question the theory.
 

Booble

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I read that too, @Rebeccare, but it doesn't make much sense in my opinion. Many of us go years without catching a cold. That doesn't mean that suddenly our immune systems can't handle a typical cold.
I could see that being the case for very young children who haven't been exposed but not for the rest of us. The pandemic has only been for a couple of years! I'm not buying that reason.
 
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I am one of those ME/CFS patients who rarely catches colds
Many of us go years without catching a cold.
I'm no science expert, so I don't have a good sense of how well this explanation holds up.

But here's my thinking: even if you don't catch colds doesn't mean that you aren't exposed to them. So perhaps when you have normal levels of exposure to other people your immune system may be fighting off germs here and there, but you remain blissfully unaware of it (and cold-free!).

All of those little bugs that your immune system easily dispatches with gives it enough of a workout to stay strong and prepared to destroy any other bugs that come along. But without that exposure, the immune system gets a bit lazier and isn't as well equipped to handle new threats it encounters. And that's why a cold one might have fought off without having any symptoms in the past is now a bit more problematic.

But who knows?
 

BrightCandle

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The other possibility is that Covid has done a real number on people and a lot of them are in that will they wont they phase of developing ME/CFS and a lasting condition and this cold is hitting people hard as a result of immune dysfunction. It could be a sign of just how far and wide the damage has been.
 

Pyrrhus

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But here's my thinking: even if you don't catch colds doesn't mean that you aren't exposed to them. So perhaps when you have normal levels of exposure to other people your immune system may be fighting off germs here and there, but you remain blissfully unaware of it (and cold-free!).
Very good point. Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that the initial symptoms of a cold are mostly mediated by the immune response to the pathogen, not by any direct effects from the pathogen itself.

Therefore, people with a strong immune response to a new pathogen will have worse symptoms initially than someone with a weak immune response, who may even have no symptoms. (Although someone with a weak immune response might eventually end up with a more severe case or a more long-lasting case.)

In the case of a pathogen that the body has already encountered, the reverse might be true: people with a strong immune response to a known pathogen may quickly eliminate the pathogen and therefore have no symptoms, but a person with a weak immune response to a known pathogen might have more trouble eliminating the pathogen and will therefore experience symptoms.

Therefore the observation that ME patients "rarely catch colds" can be consistent with either a persistently activated immune system or a weakened immune system.
 
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a lasting condition and this cold is hitting people hard as a result of immune dysfunction. It could be a sign of just how far and wide the damage has been.
or the vaccinations....??

having messed with our immune systems, informing them to get busy doing something specific or another, the body isn't as readily able to respond to "other " viral -related assaults.

I seemed to recall something about having gotten the COVID vaccine, the flu shots aren't taking as well. Then, soon after, "seemingly" recalling that, online they tell us the flu shot has nothing to do with the COVID thing. Go get both.

Sorry but I do not entirely trust the vaccinating territory. Do they really understand these things, or is it Russian roulette in the immune system.

Like when the college student is given eight vaccinations in one afternoon. Go read about some of the adverse events. And this student has autoimmune disorders. Disregarded entirely at the shot place.

My husband was forcibly vaccinated at 17. He was made very very ill. He lucked out and recovered, as he has this stunning wonderful working immune system . If that had happened to me....hate to think.
 

Hip

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But here's my thinking: even if you don't catch colds doesn't mean that you aren't exposed to them. So perhaps when you have normal levels of exposure to other people your immune system may be fighting off germs here and there, but you remain blissfully unaware of it (and cold-free!).
I think that's likely the case. Rich Van Konynenburg suggested that ME/CFS patients rapidly kill cold viruses the moment these viruses land on our oral or nasal mucous membranes, because he suggested our interferon response, the first line in antiviral defense, was permanently ramped up on full alert.

However, if we kill viruses so quickly using this first line of defense, it may mean we are not giving the rest of our immune system a workout.
 

Learner1

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Therefore the observation that ME patients "rarely catch colds" can be consistent with either a persistently activated immune system or a weakened immune system.
Exactly!
I think that's likely the case. Rich Van Konynenburg suggested that ME/CFS patients rapidly kill cold viruses the moment these viruses land on our oral or nasal mucous membranes, because he suggested our interferon response, the first line in antiviral defense, was permanently ramped up on full alert.
Many of us have weakened immune systems as @Pyrrhus suggests.
 

Mary

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Several weeks ago I was fighting some type of bug, had night sweats almost every night for 3 or 4 weeks (though no fever, I almost never run a fever), was extra tired, etc. All my usual stuff (andrographis, echinacea) didn't seem to make much difference but I finally managed to get over it. @Hip , I wonder if it was the same bug you dealt with? (across the pond)

In the meanwhile, I get sick with a respiratory bug every time I crash, without fail - and I crash at least once a week, so am sick a lot of the time.

So I recently started a new experiment in an attempt to lower my BP (I DON'T want to take BP meds - I couldn't tolerate anything making me more tired! :sluggish: ) Anyways, my newest protocol involves 3 teaspoons of non-irradiated cayenne a day (one tsp. in a glass of V-8 with each meal) and aged garlic. It's too soon to tell about my BP, but I was crashed yesterday after seriously overdoing it the day before, and I got sick again, as always, only I got sick about 1/2 as bad as I usually do - it's quite noticeable. The garlic I'm using is kyolic brand, a bit pricey, but am doing a home experiment and preserving some raw peeled cloves in apple cider vinegar which should be ready to use in a week or so. Fingers crossed! So even it doesn't help my BP much, it may be a good thing for my immune system.

Order up the Yin Chaio

Take immediately upon thinking your exposed or its coming on. This is the worlds most effective cold medication.

https://www.chineseherbsdirect.com/...B2ro5ppFmlarsATJZVag1AsvBju1PfsoaAp1rEALw_wcB
I used to take Yin Chiao years ago, it was very effective, and had forgotten about it. Another source is here (cheaper) - this is a good company, I've ordered from them before: Yin Chiao Chieh Tu Pien Stop Colds Formula for Runny Nose & Sneezing (modernherbshop.com)
 

Hip

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Several weeks ago I was fighting some type of bug, had night sweats almost every night for 3 or 4 weeks (though no fever, I almost never run a fever), was extra tired, etc. All my usual stuff (andrographis, echinacea) didn't seem to make much difference but I finally managed to get over it. @Hip , I wonder if it was the same bug you dealt with? (across the pond)
Could well be. @Rebeccare said there were some newspaper articles about a terrible cold virus going around the US this summer.

Actually, I probably did not have a fever either. I felt as if I was fevery, because I was sweating and was actually shivering with cold in my bed. I had to put on extra blankets and wear a T-shirt in bed because I kept shivering (even though weather-wise it was quite a warm night). I was shivering because my body felt hot but the bed felt cold, if that makes sense.

But when I actually measured by under tongue temperature, it was normal.
 
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Whatever is going around right now is super easy to catch. I was out shopping wearing a mask and not really close to anyone and two days later was fighting off whatever this is. Getting back to sort of normal but it's been more than two weeks. I was worried this was going to be the next big step down for me, it might still be somewhat of one. Yeah, don't catch this thing if you can avoid it. Just being out where you can smell that the air is muggy and not well ventilated is enough to catch it, even if you have a cloth mask on.