19 votes

Can the immune system break down anything?

Actually, in the case of most drugs, it has nothing to do with the immune system per se. Generally, drugs are either chemically modified (often in the liver) to make them inert, or excreted (either in ...
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  • 732
15 votes

Is it known how often unvaccinated children are contagious with symptom free diseases?

Unvaccinated members of a population contribute to the susceptibility of the rest of the population to disease, especially vulnerable people who cannot be vaccinated. This fact is true whether or not ...
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  • 5,694
14 votes

Can the immune system break down anything?

Certainly not. By definition, it cannot break down poisons (at least not quickly enough) to stop the body being harmed or killed. In addition, it can not break down (or "neutralize") many ...
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  • 2,093
14 votes
Accepted

How can I boost my immune system?

As far as I am aware, the immune system does not have a "boosted" state. There is a medical doctor, Mark Crislip, who wrote a post about this on Science-based medicine, and I'll cite here the most ...
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  • 2,770
14 votes
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Can being cold or wet be a significant influence in getting the common cold?

This is a pretty old old-wives tale, taking many forms: don't go out into the cold while it's raining, or without a hat, with wet hair, without a warm coat or scarf, without boots, etc., "or you'll ...
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9 votes

What happens to HIV once it completely destroys the immune system?

This is a very interesting question. It's also highly speculative, and vague (what does "a doctor... gives them any medicine necessary to protect them from other diseases that might be lurking in ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Delayed vaccination: effect on the immune system

The human immune system Basically, the human (and that includes all ages) immune system has two parts: The innate immune system is a very old part (which doesn't mean it's bad or superfluous, on the ...
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  • 6,998
9 votes

What are the limits on the amount of pathogens that a body can be immune to at any given time?

Won't this (having a flu vaccine every year) put them in an uncharted territory as far as effects on the immune systems are concerned within a couple of decades? No You are exposed to and develop a ...
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  • 3,153
9 votes

Can someone have an allergic reaction to a virus?

The TH1/TH2 model of T-cell responsiveness can be summarized as TH1 being the "antiviral/antibacterial" immune response and TH2 is the "antiparasite" immune response against worms ...
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  • 11.9k
8 votes
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Is there evidence that the over-avoidance of germs weakens our immune system?

The hygiene hypothesis For some reason I hold the opinion that the immune system needs to be kept busy so it wont get weak In scientific terms, this is known as the hygiene hypothesis. It was ...
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  • 6,998
8 votes
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Why don't leave HIV infected people in aseptic environment until they're cured?

There are three major reasons why we can't just keep someone in an aseptic environment and wait for their CD4 count to drop to zero and - presumably - for HIV to have consumed itself to extinction in ...
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  • 2,423
8 votes

Why should we finish antibiotic treatments in order to prevent antibiotics resistance?

Mayo Clinic on the example of tuberculosis: Stopping treatment too soon or skipping doses can allow the bacteria that are still alive to become resistant to those drugs, leading to tuberculosis ...
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  • 15.6k
8 votes
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Will there ever be a universal vaccine for the common cold?

If I get infected once with the virus which causes a common cold, does that mean I will not get infected with the same strain of the virus ever in my lifetime? It depends on quirks of your immune ...
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8 votes
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Will the COVID-19 vaccine grant immunity to other coronaviruses?

An article on Medium had a Q&A with various medical and public policy experts about the vaccine and its rollout. One of the questions was exactly what you asked. The answer is basically "...
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  • 611
7 votes

Can being cold or wet be a significant influence in getting the common cold?

This is an old wives tale. Being cold in and off itself will not cause you to catch a cold because a cold is viral. 3 However, being cold for a long time can lower your immune response and if your ...
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7 votes
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Does intake of processed sugar lower the immune system?

There is some evidence that sugar does suppress the immune system. The study that everyone seems to point to was conducted in 1973, where they fed sugar in 100g doses to people and measured the effect ...
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  • 6,540
7 votes
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How does a breeze cause irritated nose and throat?

It does so by drying out your mucous membranes. Air moving over your face as you sleep is going to have more of a drying effect on your nose, sinuses, and throat than still air. This is especially ...
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  • 9,346
7 votes

In a viral infection, which symptoms are caused by the virus itself, and which symptoms are caused by the body fighting the virus?

To provide a brief answer, as I think a sufficient answer would be far beyond the scope of this site, the symptoms that are "generic" to the common colds are all caused by the body's response to a ...
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  • 1,836
7 votes
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Does stopping fever hinder the process of killing bacteria via fever?

This is a great question, an area of active debate, and a personal interest of mine. I actually just did a presentation on this, so this answer will probably have more information in it than you need, ...
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  • 1,261
7 votes
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How can immunity be developed without a vaccine? (re Merkel's speech)

It's hard to know exactly what another person is thinking, but Merkel is probably referencing herd immunity. Assuming that people who are infected and recover will be less susceptible to infection in ...
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  • 11.9k
7 votes

Are there diseases for which infection does not grant lasting immunity but a vaccine does?

Rabies is almost 100% fatal so there is no chance to develop immunity. So, post-exposure vaccination is used if the person has not been vaccinated prior to exposure. Rabies is a vaccine-...
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  • 13.2k
7 votes

Are there diseases for which infection does not grant lasting immunity but a vaccine does?

Varicella zoster - you can get infected and then develop shingles recurrences which are preventable using vaccination eg Shingrix https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingles/public/shingrix/index.html
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  • 196
6 votes
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Does vaccination weaken the immune system ? Studies?

I have found a couple of papers which debunk this myth. The links here go directly to free PDF copies and there are DOI links in the references in case the PDF links die. The most recent paper I can ...
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  • 5,872
6 votes

Will COVID-19 survivors develop immunity from future infections?

There is a study from Chinese scientists from Bejing on this question: Reinfection could not occur in SARS-CoV-2 infected rhesus macaques Combined with the follow-up virologic, radiological and ...
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6 votes

If I get COVID-19, can I get cured by myself?

If you’re young and healthy with only mild symptoms, your doctor will likely advise you to isolate yourself at home and to limit contact with others in your household. You’ll likely be advised to rest,...
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  • 11.9k
6 votes

Do coronavirus antibodies give you any immunity?

You're asking some completely different questions here from sources talking about completely different aspects of antibody-mediated immunity. The first statement, from WHO, is talking about people ...
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  • 11.9k
6 votes

How can Stockholm be close to herd immunity without having overwhelmed the healthcare system?

The level at which herd immunity is achieved varies with the communicability of the disease. The standard rule of thumb is that the percentage of the population that has to be immune is pc = (1 - 1 / ...
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5 votes
Accepted

How do steroids work in treating a multiple sclerosis relapse?

Steroids are used as treatment for acute attacks/flares in many diseases because they reduce inflammation. In multiple sclerosis, they are given to reduce inflammation of the nerves that occurs when ...
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  • 6,998
5 votes

Can blood transfusion help in case of scleroderma?

I'm not aware of any work done in this area. A whole blood transfusion is not going replace circulating defective lymphocytes. On the other hand Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation has some ...
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  • 13.2k
5 votes

How can I boost my immune system?

How to boost immune system Sleep boosts immunity Sleep is very important for our health and lack of sleep can affect our whole immune system. That's because our body's biological clock is set for ...
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