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How Many Viruses Have Infected You?
National Public Radio

A cheap new lab test can use just a drop of blood to reveal the different kinds of viruses you’ve been exposed to over your lifetime.

The test suggests that, on average, people have been infected with about ten different types of known virus families, including influenzas, and rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, according to a report published Thursday in Science.

“Usually if you go to the doctor, the doctor might suspect that you have a particular virus, and then he or she will order a test to test that one virus,” says Stephen Elledge at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “But if you wanted to know about all viruses, there was really no way to do it.”