Photo: Rhoda Baer/Wikimedia
Coughing, a stuffy nose, and sore throat are symptoms that affect people of all ages, especially around this time of year. Flu shots have been encouraged and available for decades, but thanks to research conducted at Vienna's general hospital (Wiener AKH) by allergist Rudolf Valenta (53) and his lab team there is a chance that even these annoying precursors to larger viral infections could also become a thing of the past.
Valenta discovered that “the trick is to direct the immune response toward other portions of the virus”. Having studied the conditions of allergic rhinitis in small children, he found that the immune system typically attacks the “wrong” part of the virus. More specifically, it was observed that the inside of the viral cell structure is targeted, as opposed to its shell.
To combat this apparent error in immune programming, he and his team concocted an antidote that goes after the protein chains, which sustain the rhinovirus during its cellular attack.
Despite the fact that the patent has been registered for this mixture, it will take time before the vaccination will be made readily available to the public.