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CindyGirl
08-13-2016, 06:00 PM
In an apocalyptic situation, in a region holding about 5 thousand survivors with little to no contact with other survivors, would the common cold/flu die out?

Only until they came in contact with others?

Would it just go dormant for awhile but return when populations numbers increased again?

Thanks for any insight you may be able to provide.

King Neptune
08-13-2016, 06:56 PM
Things like colds often disappeared from sailing ships that were at sea for a considerable time, because everyone would have had that strain and gained some immunity, but contact with others who might have a different strain would cause an epidemic, and I think that this might ha[ppen in your situation.

I believe that acquired immunity is the reason for the end of the disease in an isolated population, and the population number would be irrelevant.

GeorgeK
08-13-2016, 09:52 PM
No. The, "common cold," is actually a syndrome common to a variety of viruses, some of which have other animal vectors. So try as you might it is unlikely that it will ever become extinct.

CindyGirl
08-13-2016, 10:02 PM
No. The, "common cold," is actually a syndrome common to a variety of viruses, some of which have other animal vectors. So try as you might it is unlikely that it will ever become extinct.

Thanks. I had no idea about that.

Old Hack
08-14-2016, 10:50 AM
The common cold and flu are very different illnesses, even though people often think they have flu when they just have a really bad cold. I don't know if this is significant to your story but you seem to be conflating them in your original post, so I thought I'd point it out, just in case.

MaeZe
08-14-2016, 11:12 AM
It depends on the reservoir. The reason we eradicated small pox is humans are the only reservoir.

When it comes to upper respiratory infections, there are about 200 known or suspected different pathogens.

Influenza has many reservoirs from poultry to pigs, from horse to dogs, from chickens to many migratory birds. You can't get rid of it by isolating humans.

Other common viruses that account for a lot of disease are coxsackie viruses, adenoviruses, rhinoviruses, and there are a number of bacterial pathogens like pneumococcus.

If this is a fictional account you can write it any way you choose, just match the pathogen to how you want the story to play out.

neandermagnon
08-14-2016, 01:25 PM
Viruses and bacteria can and do die out from small populations if there aren't enough people to infect because the whole population becomes immune. There are minimum population numbers required for various pathogens to survive in human populations. Colds and flu viruses have evolved to stop this happening though - they change the antigens on their surface so you can be infected by the same pathogen twice, because the immune system won't recognise it if it comes back with new antigens on its surface. The population would have to be small enough for everyone to be immune before it's able to change its antigens.

As mentioned above they frequently don't die out altogether as they generally also live on in animal vectors.

Small populations who have been isolated for a long time become very vulnerable to the pathogens of other populations. There are quite a few uncontacted hunter-gatherer tribes living in various remote parts of the Earth and one of the biggest dangers they face from the wider human population is our pathogens. They can become dangerously ill from illnesses that are pretty harmless to us. There are two factors in this, firstly, a lack of acquired immunity because they've never been exposed to it. Secondly, a lack of evolved resistance as they've been isolated from the main human population for thousands, (possibly tens of thousands in at least one tribe) of years. When a new disease enters a human population it's devastating and often deadly, but the next generation is comprised of all the survivors, so whatever gave them the edge in not dying of it gets passed on to the next generation - repeat for many generations and combine it with acquired immunity from repeated exposure during individuals' lifetime and the population no longer gets that badly ill when infected. So the common cold might be pretty minor to us, but to someone from a population where the entire population's never been exposed to it in the population's history is going to become dangerously ill.

To what extent this affects your isolated population depends on how long they've been isolated. They may be developing resistance to whatever illnesses were in the population when it became isolated, however if there's a wider human population somewhere that's facing other pathgens, but if, say, some kind of plague decimated the wider population and their current generation are all survivors and children of survivors, then your isolated population is going to be more vulnerable to this plague than the wider population. Your isolated population won't lose any evolve resistance (i.e. resistance due to inherited traits) however they will gradually lose acquired immunity to any illnesses that are no longer in their population.

CindyGirl
08-14-2016, 05:28 PM
Cool information everyone! Thanks.

stephenf
08-14-2016, 07:50 PM
Hi
I don' t actuly know the answer to your question . The crossover from animals theory is untrue . It is possible to become ill with some things from animals , malaria for example , but not a cold . It is true that some isolated tribes have been wiped out by coming in contact with outsiders for the first time . Quite recently, 1990 ?, a tribe in Peru was killed off after coming in contact with illegal loggers . So , I would guess, among small isolated groups the cold virus will disappear, but their immunity becomes so weak , renewed contact could be fatal. It is what killed the aliens in War Of The World

MaeZe
08-14-2016, 08:02 PM
Hi
I don' t actuly know the answer to your question . The crossover from animals theory is untrue . It is possible to become ill with contact with animals , malarial for example , but not a cold ....

Not sure where you get this from but it's flat out wrong. SARS was passed to humans from civet cats. It's a coronavirus. The HPAI H5N1 (aka bird flu) continues to be passed on to humans directly from contact with poultry. The 2009 new variant influenza (aka the 2009 swine flu), emerged in a pig farm in Mexico.

And if anyone is interested, the latest ebola epidemic was traced to a bat. E-coli 0157 responsible for a spate of fatalities emerged in dairy cows (in Wisconsin if I recall correctly).

And malaria, for the record, is transmitted by mosquitos.

stephenf
08-14-2016, 08:08 PM
Not sure where you get this from but it's flat out wrong. SARS was passed to humans from civet cats. It's a coxsackie virus. The HPAI H5N1 (aka bird flu) continues to be passed on to humans directly from contact with poultry. The 2009 new variant influenza (aka the 2009 swine flu), emerged in a pig farm in Mexico.

And if anyone is interested, the latest ebola epidemic was traced to a bat. E-coli 0157 responsible for a spate of fatalities emerged in dairy cows (in Wisconsin if I recall correctly).

And malaria, for the record, is transmitted by mosquitos.
Hi
All the things on your list may be true , but none result in the transfer of the common cold.
I believe everything is ether Animal , vegetable or mineral .
Insects are animals

MaeZe
08-14-2016, 08:31 PM
What is the virus you think is responsible for the common cold?

stephenf
08-14-2016, 08:57 PM
What is the virus you think is responsible for the common cold?
There are over 200 viruses that are responsible for the common cold, the most common is Rhinoviruses , that has over 100 types that can make humans ill .

MaeZe
08-14-2016, 10:18 PM
There are over 200 viruses that are responsible for the common cold, the most common is Rhinoviruses , that has over 100 types that can make humans ill .

Common Cold (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK8142/)


Etiology

Common colds are the most prevalent entity of all respiratory infections and are the leading cause of patient visits to the physician, as well as work and school absenteeism. Most colds are caused by viruses. Rhinoviruses with more than 100 serotypes are the most common pathogens, causing at least 25% of colds in adults. Coronaviruses may be responsible for more than 10% of cases. Parainfluenza viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, adenoviruses and influenza viruses have all been linked to the common cold syndrome. All of these organisms show seasonal variations in incidence. The cause of 30% to 40% of cold syndromes has not been determined.

I've already noted that a strain of coronavirus, SARS was passed to humans via civet cats (http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/news/060101_batsars). In looking for that link I see there has been additional work done and the civet cat looks like a collateral host:
Then in the fall of 2005, two teams of researchers independently discovered large reservoirs of a SARS-like virus in Chinese horseshoe bats. The bats now appear to be both culprit and victim in this mystery: they are the carriers of the SARS virus, but the virus is probably only passed to humans through intermediate hosts when bats are captured and brought to market. ... The [genetic] tree showed that civet and human SARS viruses are very similar to each other and, most importantly, that both are nested within a clade of bat viruses — so the ancestor of the civet and human strains seems to have been a bat virus!

We now have a related serious coronavirus infection emerging in Saudi Arabia with camels as the source of human infection.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/mers-cov/en/)
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)....
Although the majority of human cases of MERS have been attributed to human-to-human infections, camels are likely to be a major reservoir host for MERS-CoV and an animal source of MERS infection in humans. However, the exact role of camels in transmission of the virus and the exact route(s) of transmission are unknown.
The virus does not seem to pass easily from person to person unless there is close contact, such as occurs when providing unprotected care to a patient.When the article refers to direct source being unknown, currently it isn't clear if camel milk is the problem or some other contact with the camels. People with no known human source of infection so far, have all had direct contact with camels and/or camel milk.

Adenovirus and Adenoviral Vectors (https://ehs.research.uiowa.edu/adenovirus-and-adenoviral-vectors)
Adenoviruses are effective at targeting the human respiratory and intestinal systems and can cause eye infections and the common cold....

Host Range
Humans and animals are the natural reservoirs for wild-type adenoviruses. Recombinant adenovirus vectors infect a variety of mammalian cell types, and some strains can transform cells in culture.

Survival
Adenoviruses are unusually stable to chemical or physical agents and adverse pH conditions. They are very stable in the environment and can survive 3 to 8 weeks on environmental surfaces at ambient temperatures. Even after treatment with ether or chloroform, they can still be infective....

Precautions When Using Animals
When animals are infected with adenoviruses/adenoviral vectors, the Animal Biosafety Level of the project will be generally assigned to ABSL-2c. The Animal Biosafety Level protocol is available through EHS’s website.

Animal use requests are made to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) by submitting an Animal Care and Use Form (ACURF).

Infected animals can excrete adenovirus, so cages and bedding are considered biohazardous for a minimum of 5 days post-exposure. Take precautions to avoid creating aerosols when emptying animal waste material. The Office of Animal Resources staff uses a changing station when emptying animal cages to minimize the creation of aerosols. Soiled cages are disinfected prior to washing.

Animal cages must be labeled with a biohazard sign.

There is also the potential for an asymptomatic person to remain a silent reservoir of adenovirus:
It is possible for a person who is infected, but asymptomatic, to shed virus for many months or years.

Is that enough for you?

stephenf
08-15-2016, 01:53 AM
Hi
you have been hard at work looking through the Internet to try prove that that the common cold can be transfered from animals to humans . You are confusing and mixing viral infections and coming up with the wrong answer . Just google , can you catch a cold from an animal and the answer will be.....no .

MaeZe
08-15-2016, 03:29 AM
??? Are you saying adenovirus, coronavirus, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), are not in the mix of pathogens that cause the common cold?

I thought I addressed that:

Adenoviruses are effective at targeting the human respiratory and intestinal systems and can cause eye infections and the common cold....

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold

Common colds are the most prevalent entity of all respiratory infections and are the leading cause of patient visits to the physician, as well as work and school absenteeism. Most colds are caused by viruses. Rhinoviruses with more than 100 serotypes are the most common pathogens, causing at least 25% of colds in adults. Coronaviruses may be responsible for more than 10% of cases. Parainfluenza viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, adenoviruses and influenza viruses have all been linked to the common cold syndrome. All of these organisms show seasonal variations in incidence. The cause of 30% to 40% of cold syndromes has not been determined.

What am I mixing up?

How about you "google, can you catch a cold from an animal" and post a link that agrees with you so we can see your line of thinking. I looked briefly and the first page of hits were about catching illnesses from one's pets. There are many animals besides cats, dogs, and guinea pigs.

You can get pneumonia from your parrot (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr/rr4710.pdf). There is a mild form that looks like the common cold:
For persons infected with C. psittaci, the onset of illness follows an incubation period of 5–14 days. The severity of this disease ranges from inapparent illness to systemic illness with severe pneumonia.And, it is a bacteria in the chlamydia family but the causitive organism is distinct from the STD pathogen.

Viruses and Bacteria in the Etiology of the Common Cold (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC104573/)
Two hundred young adults with common colds were studied during a 10-month period. Virus culture, antigen detection, PCR, and serology with paired samples were used to identify the infection. Viral etiology was established for 138 of the 200 patients (69%). Rhinoviruses were detected in 105 patients, coronavirus OC43 or 229E infection was detected in 17, influenza A or B virus was detected in 12, and single infections with parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, and enterovirus were found in 14 patients. Evidence for bacterial infection was found in seven patients. Four patients had a rise in antibodies against Chlamydia pneumoniae, one had a rise in antibodies against Haemophilus influenzae, one had a rise in antibodies against Streptococcus pneumoniae, and one had immunoglobulin M antibodies against Mycoplasma pneumoniae. The results show that although approximately 50% of episodes of the common cold were caused by rhinoviruses, the etiology can vary depending on the epidemiological situation with regard to circulating viruses. Bacterial infections were rare, supporting the concept that the common cold is almost exclusively a viral disease.
So in that sample, only 50% were caused by rhinovirus, though there could be more as I would think some pathogens were not recoverable with swabs, and we don't have tests for every pathogen antibody. A very small number of cases were caused by bacteria in this sample.

mirandashell
08-15-2016, 03:57 AM
I thought 'common cold' was the name for a collection of symptoms rather than a medical diagnosis.

Mommy, my nose is running and my head feels funny and I have a sore throat and ...... achoooo!

It's alright, darling. It's just a cold.

MaeZe
08-15-2016, 05:20 AM
I thought 'common cold' was the name for a collection of symptoms rather than a medical diagnosis.

Mommy, my nose is running and my head feels funny and I have a sore throat and ...... achoooo!

It's alright, darling. It's just a cold.It's a lay person's term, not really precise enough for a health care provider unless we are talking to a patient. Same with stomach flu, it's not influenza, but rather it's a lay term for nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Influenza is a respiratory pathogen in humans. In poultry and water foul it infects their GI tract.

In medicine, we would generally call the common cold a mild URI (upper respiratory infection).

stephenf
08-15-2016, 12:39 PM
I thought 'common cold' was the name for a collection of symptoms rather than a medical diagnosis.

Mommy, my nose is running and my head feels funny and I have a sore throat and ...... achoooo!

It's alright, darling. It's just a cold.

Hi
Viruses and our immune system is a complex subject , I don't pretend understand it . But.. there is just the one virus that give you mumps . So once you had it , your immune system will remember it, and keep it out for the rest of your life . There are a number of viruses that will give you the flu . Flu viruses are quit tough and will put up a fight and the symptoms can be bad . We do know what they look like and give your immune system a photo, in the form of a vaccination. You can vaccinate for a number of different viruses but some virus can mutate, including the flue one, and slip pass our defences .
The common cold is caused by hundreds viruses. It is thought the cold virus doesn't mutate but the large number of them makes vaccination impossible . You can become immune to the cold viruses you've had , but you are constantly coming in contact with new ones . Luckily cold viruses are all mouth and no trousers, more annoying than serious and get kicked out reasonably quickly.
The symptoms you experience is your immune system trying to remove the virus . Despite the fact there are hundreds of cold viruses , the the symptoms are the same or similar. Flu viruses are more difficult to get out , so you have different and often more unpleasant Symptoms . High temperature or fever is one and some people can become physically sick .

mirandashell
08-15-2016, 03:14 PM
It's a lay person's term, not really precise enough for a health care provider unless we are talking to a patient.

That's what I thought.

MaeZe
08-15-2016, 08:25 PM
...It is thought the cold virus doesn't mutate but the large number of them makes vaccination impossibleWhile some of what you post is approximately correct, this is not. You know quite a bit about the common cold, maybe my posts can help you tighten that knowledge up.

All viruses mutate, some are more stable than others. Some viruses, like influenza, have indeed evolved to use antigenic drift and shift as a survival tactic. And, not all antibodies are protective. Antibodies for HIV, for example, are not protective.

Like you said, there are many genotypes of rhinovirus that circulate continually rather than continually shifting antigenically. However, there are still a limited number of genotypes, rather, some immunity acquired by previous infection is not lifelong.

This is a very limited study but they discuss relevant past research: The time course of the humoral immune response to rhinovirus infection (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2249538/pdf/epidinfect00018-0245.pdf)
Serum-neutralizing antibody titres remain elevated for many years after infection (2, 9, 10). However, local specific antibody appears to be lost with time: that produced after intranasal rhinovirus vaccination was lost after 2 years (11). This rapid decrease would account for the high proportion of volunteers who present with serum specific antibody but who lack nasal secretion antibody.In other words, the same rhinovirus sub-type can possibly infect you again after a couple of years.

We could develop vaccines for many of these other viruses but research tends to be done on the deadliest of diseases. It's not practical to vaccinate for every pathogen out there. However, because rhinoviruses account for significant disease burden (lost work and school time, and serious complications for people with underlying chronic respiratory diseases) there are researchers working to develop rhinovirus vaccines.

Challenges in developing a cross-serotype rhinovirus vaccine (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1879625715000358)
Highlights
• Limited antigenic cross-reactivity amongst rhinoviruses is a barrier to vaccine design.
• Peptide immunogens now identified however which induce cross-reactive antibodies.
• T cell inducing vaccine strategy described which offers potentially greater cross-reactivity.
• Human and animal models of infection now available to test efficacy of rhinovirus vaccines.

A great burden of disease is attributable to human rhinovirus (HRV) infections which are the major cause of the common cold, exacerbations of both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and are associated with asthma development. Despite this there is currently no vaccine for HRV. The first vaccine studies showed some promise in terms of serotype-specific protection against cold symptoms, but antigenic heterogeneity amongst the >150 HRVs has been regarded as a major barrier to effective vaccine development and has resulted in little progress over 50 years. Here we review those vaccine studies conducted to date, discuss the difficulties posed by antigenic heterogeneity and describe some recent advances in generating cross-reactive antibodies and T cell responses using peptide immunogens.

Developing a vaccine for human rhinoviruses (http://www.nobleresearch.org/Doi/10.14312/2053-1273.2014-3) is a similar paper.

As far back as 1976 rhinovirus vaccine research was proposed: Is a rhinovirus vaccine possible? (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/176887)

Helix
08-19-2016, 12:07 PM
This thread is a few days old, but I just noticed this story on Twitter: Common cold viruses originated in camels -- just like MERS (http://www.dzif.de/en/news_media_centre/news_press_releases/view/detail/artikel/common_cold_viruses_originated_in_camelsjust_like_ mers/).


There are four globally endemic human coronaviruses which, together with the better known rhinoviruses, are responsible for causing common colds. Usually, infections with these viruses are harmless to humans. DZIF Professor Christian Drosten, Institute of Virology at the University Hospital of Bonn, and his research team have now found the source of “HCoV-229E”, one of the four common cold coronaviruses*—it also originates from camels, just like the dreaded MERS virus.

WeaselFire
08-19-2016, 04:48 PM
There's a lot of discussion here that misses one critical item - there is no such thing, medically, as "the common cold." It is a term for the symptoms experienced from a number of viral infections and, for many people, is even used to describe non-viral issues.

The second part of this is what does the OP need for their story? If they need nobody to get cold symptoms, then just don't have them get them. If they need cold symptoms, write them in. If they need a medical mystery then write it as nobody having had cold symptoms since the big bang that changed the world and now somebody has them. With a population of 5,000 people, you don't have a lot of medical experts and certainly aren't running sophisticated research and diagnostic laboratories anyway. Heck, you likely don't have a hospital and may not even have a medical clinic and staff.

Jeff

Helix
08-19-2016, 04:58 PM
There's a lot of discussion here that misses one critical item - there is no such thing, medically, as "the common cold." It is a term for the symptoms experienced from a number of viral infections and, for many people, is even used to describe non-viral issues.

Tbf, that's what almost all the comments here have been about.

boron
08-19-2016, 05:00 PM
A common cold is a name for quite a distinct disease: viral nasopharyngitis, which means an inflammation that is limited to the nose and throat (the pharynx part) and the main symptoms are blocked nose and dry cough. Yes, it can be 200 different viruses, but it's one disease. Similar viral diseases, such as influenza and infectious mononucleosis, are usually systemic - they affect the entire body, so you typically have fever, muscle pain and fatigue.

You can have some Rhinoviruses (the main cause of common cold) in your nose or throat without being ill and when your immunity falls, you may get infected from "your own" viruses without being in contact with other people with common cold. I'm not sure if this actually can happen in common cold, but this is how you can get bacterial pneumonia, if you have impaired immunity - by inhaling bacteria from your own nose and throat.

I don't know about common cold, but certain viral diseases can skip from animals to humans, for example:
- H5N1 influenza (bird flu): you can get it directly from birds - it then probably does not pass from human to human.
- 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza (once called "swine flu") has probably initially skipped from pigs to humans, but now it seems to be trasmitted only from human to human.

mirandashell
08-19-2016, 05:29 PM
There's a lot of discussion here that misses one critical item - there is no such thing, medically, as "the common cold." It is a term for the symptoms experienced from a number of viral infections and, for many people, is even used to describe non-viral issues.

Jeff

Ahem....


I thought 'common cold' was the name for a collection of symptoms rather than a medical diagnosis.

Mommy, my nose is running and my head feels funny and I have a sore throat and ...... achoooo!

It's alright, darling. It's just a cold.

Post #20

boron
08-19-2016, 05:55 PM
When medical professionals use the term common cold, they mean viral nasopharyngitis and I don't think many of them get confused by this. With other words, common cold is a lay term for acute viral nasopharyngitis and not for other upper respiratory tract infections or for their symptoms. Common cold = disease. All similar upper respiratory tract infections and other conditions have different and distinct names:

flu = influenza
hay fever = allergic rhinitis
sinusitis affects the sinuses, so this is not the same as common cold
strep throat = bacterial pharyngitis caused by Streptococci
Upper respiratory tract infections (Emedicine.com) (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/302460-overview?pa=q%2BmlIhAZIG76E%2FaYVIlKj7u2Y8Tro7uwTn sS%2Bms6nPGeaMnzwcfY3UsHhNtKIcFNX8MwC0EECwzp432Sku f9qw%3D%3D)

It is true, that sometimes you can't differ between severe common cold and mild flu just from the symptoms.

CindyGirl
08-20-2016, 05:47 PM
This article just popped up on my FB feed...about camels and cold viruses. Thought I would share.

http://www.sciencealert.com/one-of-the-common-cold-viruses-originated-in-camels-study-finds