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Will There Ever Be A Cold Cure? Teaneck Doctor Says Yes... But....

Dr. Thomas Birch, an Infectious Disease Specialist
at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck.
Dr. Thomas Birch, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck. Photo Credit: Submitted

TEANECK, N.J. -- Colds are common -- and often, inevitable. And so far, unpreventable. Could a cure be on the horizon?

Promising research proves it could. A new study has found a whole new arm of the immune system which could potentially be developed into therapies. That, said Thomas Birch, M.D. an infectious disease specialist with Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, is the good news. The "bad:" a true cure could take years of research, trials, and testing.

The recent findings from researchers at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland point to a molecule found in our immune systems as the potential remedy.

These peptides have properties that can combat rhinovirus, the most common virus causing colds and upper respiratory infections.

Adults typically get two colds a year; children may get six or more, said Dr. Birch. There are about 200 different cold viruses that circulate any given year, a dozen of which tend to stand out at any given time. Typically they last anywhere from seven to 14 days.

Needless to say, finding a way to combat viruses as they enter the mucus membranes would be ideal.

Still, a lot more work has to be done. Dr. Birch said there would have to be a clinical trial, then decisions on safety and discussions on the best route of administration, i.e. nasal spray, pill or injection.

Long story short: While the new U.K. study is encouraging, Dr. Birch said the entire process could take five to 10 years.

In other news, he and his team at Holy Name’s Institute for Clinical Research will be conducting advanced phase trials of two novel medications for more severe viral respiratory infections during this coming winter season.

Those are Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). If you anyone you know develop a significant respiratory infection, call the Institute and they will test you for the flu and RSV. If you qualify, they may be able to treat you with the newest therapy for these infections. Ask for screening for the Flu and RSV studies at 201-541-6312.

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