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View Diary: Pandemic Lotto (155 comments)

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  •  Depends.... (0+ / 0-)

    On what the first and second viruses both are.

    Viruses tend to block identical or very similar viruses from coming in -- influenza is one of the notable exceptions -- when they are actively infectious.  It's primarily to prevent "superinfections" where multiple viruses are all competing for a cell's replication machinery, which can end up sinking them all.

    But latent viruses (like herpes) don't really care about any other viruses.  You can have herpes and get a cold (and the vast majority of people DO have at least two herpesviruses latent in them -- HSV-1, which causes cold sores, and Karposi's Sarcoma virus).

    The primary reason that people don't tend to get multiple viral infections, I think, is because the first infection activates the immune system's antiviral shock troops, so further infections can't really get a foothold in while the immune system is at war with the first infection.

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