The common occurrence of baby rash guards is well known but a new study suggests they’re more prevalent than previously thought.
A team of researchers led by Professor Christopher Hickey from the School of Medicine at Newcastle University has studied the distribution of these cells, which are present in skin cells throughout the body.
This means that they could play a key role in the transmission of the virus, the researchers say.
They’ve discovered that around 50 per cent of the cells are found in the outer layers of the skin and have no effect on the outer layer of skin.
“What we’ve found is that it is highly likely that the outermost layers of skin are carrying the virus and we’re only seeing this because there’s so much of the outer skin exposed to the air,” Dr Hickey told New Scientist.
“It’s not clear why, but this suggests there is some interaction between the skin surface and the virus that we don’t understand yet.”
The researchers found that the cells that contain the virus were clustered together in the layers of tissue surrounding the skin, indicating they were present in a population of about 50 per the 100 million skin cells in the human body.
“This suggests that we need to be looking at the outer parts of the body to find the viruses that are hiding in there,” Dr Pugh told New Zealand’s Daily Mail.
“That’s something that has never been done before.”
‘No explanation for why’ The findings are interesting, but not definitive, the team warns.
“We can’t rule out that these are simply random elements that are present because they’re just a tiny fraction of the population, or even that the virus is being passed on from one generation to the next,” Professor Hickey said.
“But we can’t find any explanation for how this happens.”
The study is published in the journal Molecular Immunology.
Previous studies have linked the virus to a range of skin conditions including eczema, eczemas of the scalp and the scalp lumps, or spots, in the hair.
“If you’ve got the skin infected, you can’t tell what’s going on until you get into the skin,” Professor Pugh said.
But there’s no evidence that this is happening with the virus in the face.
“There’s a lot of evidence that shows that there’s not much of an interaction between your immune system and the viruses because there is not a lot going on in the skin between the virus-carrying cells and the surface,” Dr Aydian said.
He said the study may suggest the presence of the viral cells are more widespread in the scalp, the outer lining of the eye and the skin around the nose.
“And that’s where we can see how the virus might be spreading,” he said.
Dr Paugh said it’s possible that the infection is being transmitted from one person to another, as was seen in the case of the Ebola outbreak.
“In the past, we’ve thought that the people who have been infected were infected because they had been infected in a lab, and they’ve recovered,” he told Newzoo.
“I’m not saying that that’s going to be the case with this virus, but if that’s the case, the virus may be spreading from person to person.”
What is the virus?
A virus is an infectious chemical molecule that has the power to change the DNA of a cell, causing it to grow and change its function.
For example, HIV, for example, can cause the cell to change its DNA so that it produces a different protein that then causes an immune response.
It can also change a cell’s shape, making it grow and spread faster, which in turn can cause infections.
What can you do to protect yourself?
A protective mask may be the first step to reducing the risk of developing the virus.
“Some of the things you can do to stop the virus from getting to you are to protect your skin, to wear the right clothes and to wash your hands frequently,” Dr Condon said.
It’s important to remember, he said, that the body has no immunity to the virus but “it can be very effective”.
He said there are a number of treatments that can protect against the virus including anti-fungal drugs, vitamin E, topical creams and topical corticosteroids.
“The key thing is to keep the infection from getting into your cells and to avoid getting infected yourself.”