Being a mom gives you superhuman powers to fight germs. Not really, but it may seem like that to some. Nurses, doctors, and teachers often fall into the same group. Children love to share when it comes to germs. They bring an assortment of bacteria home to mom. While moms do sometimes get sick, it seems as though they are resistant to a lot.

Interestingly enough, Sheldon Cohen and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, reviewed three studies in which researchers put either a flu virus or a rhinovirus (common cold), into people's noses. Half were parents, half were not. The study found that parents were 48% less likely to develop an infection than people without children.

Related:New Study Shows Areas With Gardens Improve Kids' Immune Systems

Moms Don't Have Time To Be Sick

Sick girls
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Moms are some of the healthiest people around. Why? They, along with the majority of people, are constantly exposed to well over 200 forms of germs and cold viruses. However, moms are also intimately exposed to all the germs their children bring home as well. It doesn't take long for a mom's immune system to have seen a majority of the viruses out there.

Dr. William Schaffner, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine says, the body learns to defend itself after so many encounters with various germs. Once the immune system recognizes what virus is in the system, it can jump into fight mode before a mom even knows she might be sick.

Building up immunity could explain why mom never gets sick, and the rest of the family picks up every illness out there. But it could also be that moms have a lot healthier relationships, protecting them from illness.

Positive Relationships, Not Positive Tests


People who are more socially connected in terms of positive relationships have fewer colds says, Dr. Jon Temte, a University of Wisconsin Health Family Medicine physician and chair of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. There is no precise reason why, but it's possible that it's because they are more mentally healthy.

The Truth About Immunity

mom doctor
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Scientists actually have no idea why some people get sick less than others. It's something they have researched for many years, but have yet to come up with any real evidence as an answer. Meanwhile, for doctors and immunologists, the notion of superhuman health remains at best unproven and at worst a fiction. This is because of the highly individual and complex nature of our immune systems, which are almost as specific to each of us as our fingerprints.

Daniel Davis, professor of immunology at the University of Manchester explains, some people inherit a set of immune system genes that are particularly good at dealing with one particular virus. That is not to say who has a better or worse immune system, though. All it means is that a person would deal with a particular flu virus better than someone who doesn't have those genes.

Staying Healthy

Child Washing Their Hands
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If the recent pandemic has taught anybody anything, it's a million different ways to try and stay away from germs. While some of those suggestions were a little far-fetched, there are some that we can continue to use that will always help:

  • Wash your hands before eating, or touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Wash your hands after touching anyone who is sneezing, coughing or blowing their nose.
  • Don't share things like towels, lipstick, toys, or anything else that might be contaminated with respiratory germs.
  • Don't share food, utensils or beverage containers with others.

Sources: Sheldon Cohen, Dr. William Schaffner, Dr. Jon Temte , Daniel Davis