Why haven't researchers developed a cure for the common cold yet?
Johnson & Johnson, infants? nonprescription cough and cold products are displayed on a shelf at a pharmacy October 11, 2007, in the Brooklyn borough, of New York City. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The common cold can be pesky, and always seems to come at the worst possible time, but researchers think they may have discovered the key to the “hidden code” that will help them come up with a cure.

The code is of the chromosomes in the Human Parechovirus, a member of the Picornavirus family that includes the common cold, and other illnesses like polio and hand, foot and mouth disease.

The researchers out of the universities of Helinski, Leeds and York think they may have found out how the virus replicates and spreads, says a new report from Nature Communications.

Researchers previously thought that this code was in one central place in the genome but it’s actually in several places that work together to form the virus and eventually get you sick. Past attempts to find assembly codes through genetically recoding the viruses never worked because the viruses are resistant to recoding the researchers discovered. Now that they know where to find the codes they are hopeful that they can find an anti-viral that would be able to halt the decoding mechanism and stop the pieces of code from working together to form the virus, according to the University of York.

The average adult will have two to three colds per year while children may have them more frequently. While the common cold isn’t particularly dangerous on its own it can lead to other more threatening illnesses in people who have respiratory issues or weakened immune systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control. With this new information the report says we could be looking at the end of runny noses, sore throats and body aches due to colds much more quickly than we do now as an anti-viral could be developed within the next ten years.