19/10/2010 07:18 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Could Silver Help Beat The Common Cold?

Judging by the number of people who have gone down with a bug recently, the cold and flu season has well and truly arrived. It's the time of year many of us dread, with most adults thought to suffer from two to three cold bugs every winter (that's estimated at more than 200 during an average lifetime).

Flickr, mcfarlandmo

Yet despite all the medical and scientific advances of recent years scientists still haven't developed a cure for the common cold. But Belgian experts have just come up with a new way of protecting the body against viruses - so could it be the cure we've all been waiting for?

The technique has been dubbed a 'silver bullet', thanks to the way it uses tiny nanoparticles of silver attached to harmless bacteria, just like those you find in live yoghurt.

Apparently it's the silver that gives the bacteria the ability to combat viruses and stop them causing an infection. You just spray the solution up your nose or onto your hands, and the silver-studded bacteria stop any viruses you've been exposed to from infecting your system.

The silver bullet technique was shown in tests to be effective against the particularly nasty vomiting bug, or norovirus. The researchers claim the silver nanoparticles clump around the virus, then the bacteria - Lactobacillus fermentum, in case you were wondering - renders the virus incapable. They've even gone so far as to claim their discovery could make colds and flu things of the past.

Have you had a cold or flu recently? What's the nearest thing to a cure that you've found?

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