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Is it possible to be infected by the same cold virus twice?

  1. Mar 16, 2015 #1
    I am just getting over a relatively minor headcold, and I was curious if it was possible to get infected by the same bug you just got over.

    My keyboard, computer desk, and other objects are covered in these germs as I have touched them and sneezed on them countless times in the past 5-6 days.

    Do these exact same germs pose any actual risk of reinfection?

    And what if you get somebody else sick, can you catch it back from them after you get well?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2015 #2

    Doug Huffman

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    Getting over a virus means that your immune system has learned to identify and defeat it. The cold rhinoviruses are among the most variable known.

    No, if you were indeed over version one, then your subsequent infection was with a different version.

    The example of the less variable influenza viruses may be illustrative.
  4. Mar 16, 2015 #3
    So I am immune to my own germs?

    How long do virus germs like from the common cold, stay alive and active on surfaces and infected mucous like phlegm?
  5. Mar 16, 2015 #4

    Doug Huffman

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    Primary transmission is by aerosols. Surface contact is certainly possible. Rhinovirus viron survival up to 18 hours in an hospitable external environment is possible .

    Immune from your own germs? In general, no, just not feeling sickly. There are estimated to be vastly more foreign cells in your body than yours.

    I/we self-quarantine/isolate to the extent possible, we live on a small remote Island. I am a meticulous housekeeper/cleaner. My favorite tools are my HEPA vacuum and jug of NaClO bleach.
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