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  • Category: Science

    Why is there vaccine for viral diseases like Measels and Polio and not for Cold ?

    Ever wondered why no vaccine is developed for common cold? Find responses from experts on this page.

    Nowadays many vaccines are developed for different diseases caused by microbes or germs. Vaccines are there for viral diseases like Polio, Measles, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B etc. But there is no vaccine developed for most commonly affected Common Cold? Why is it so ? Give a logical explanation for it.
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  • Answers

    5 Answers found.
  • Cold can be caused by many different virus and the counting goes beyond 100s. So it is difficult to generate or create vaccines against all of them.

    Flu category of viruses are very common among us and they are causing common cold. So, we have Flu vaccines against them. This vaccine is not yet compulsory and even not yet included in the Vaccines chart in many maternity hospitals but is available of request.
    Scientist have many other lethal diseases to be searched on and hence less work is done against cold.


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  • The common cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract and its symptoms include runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, malaise, sore throat and fever normally not more than 100 degrees. It is perhaps not considered a fatal disease deserving enhanced research and focus on developing vaccines, like in the case of other diseases like Polio, Measles, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B etc.

    Developing a vaccine for flu has so far been quite challenging because of antigenic variability of the common cold virus. There are other infectious agents like indistinguishable multiple other viruses and even bacteria.

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  • Reasons for difficulty in developing vaccines against common cold are:-
    1) There are more than 250 microbes responsible for causing the common cold and thus it is very difficult to develop a vaccine which works against all of them.

    2) There is antigenic variability of the viruses causing common cold.

    3) Sometimes along with viruses which are indistinguishable, comes bacteria which act as agents carrying infections.

    4) Even though if a vaccine is developed, there will always be a doubt of its efficiency.

    5) Common cold is not a severe condition. Though one feels awful due to runny nose, high fever, sore throat etc..... but it comes and goes without any serious complications and thus medical field creates vaccines for serious illnesses like polio, measles, hepatitis B, hepatitis C etc..... as they are far more serious illnesses when compared to the common cold.

    6) A common cold can even be treated by home remedies whereas other serious illnesses can cause serious complications if developed in body and thus they require vaccines.

    7) Common cold viruses are continuously moving i.e., they change their shape and thus immune system of ours do not recognize them easily and body gets infected by them very easily. This is because they use RNA which commits mistake when it copies itself and thus developing vaccine to prevent them becomes difficult.

    8) Common cold viruses show coat protein variability very extensively.

  • The following are the reasons why the common cold cannot be treated unlike the Measles and the Polios-
    1) Cold constitutes 250 different viruses and as such a single Vaccine cannot handle all the viruses present in this disease.
    2) A coating of Protiens on its external shell impeds the activity of the drug being taken for diluting the disease.
    3) The duration of the disease is short lived and the maximum period being three days. Proper hydration and taking soup of spinach would reduce its intensity.
    4) Cold itself is not very fatal and the Home- remedy by taking a tea- spoon of Honey twice a day will alleviate the symptoms. Similarly chewing five leaves of Tulasi in the morning and the evening can shorten its duration but the other diseases such as Polios, Measles. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis are more fatal demanding the attention of the scientists to take care of this deadly diseases.
    5) The viruses of cold get enough support from the other Bacterias which act as the carrier medium of the disease.
    Plenty of water consumption followed by abundant taking of Mausami - juice, Lemon water and Honey would reduce the severity of the Cold.

  • The common cold can be caused by different viruses. It's just very difficult for the experts to make a vaccine that protects you against all type of diseases like common cold. Also, from a medical point of view, there's less need to create a vaccine for colds than other illnesses.
    More over these virus are continuously moving and they are target is to use a genetic form of information called RNA, which makes mistake when copying and they are constantly changing their shapes. So we cannot identify the perspective of immune system of individual human body very easily.
    One example for such virus is norovirus which causes diarrhoea. This virus frequently keeps changing its appearance so, even though you've had it once, six months later you will be affected once again because it looks entirely different than the virus affected earlier.

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