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Immunity & Infectious Diseases

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Why are the symptoms of a cold similar every time?

What is the role of the mast cells?

How is it that a person becomes immune to a particular infection once she or he has recovered?

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Solution Summary

This solution provides detailed explanations of the given biology questions regarding the human immune system and infectious diseases.

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Q: Why are the symptoms of a cold similar every time?
A: By definition, the common cold is a mild viral infection of the upper respiratory passages that may be caused by over 200 different viruses, including paramyxoviruses (parainfluenza and respiratory syncytial virus), picornaviruses (rhinovirus, echo-virus, and coxsackievirus), adenovirus, and influenza type C virus. All of these pathogens affect the same respiratory passages: nose, throat, and windpipe (trachea). Once infected, cells lining the respiratory tract become inflamed and start producing mucus, causing typical symptoms such as stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, coughing and general malaise (tiredness). The cold will last as long as it takes ...

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