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This initial phase takes one to four days. “The more you inhale, the shorter the incubation period,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. “In the beginning, you don’t feel sick. You don’t even know it’s there.”. As the virus colonizes your respiratory tract, your body starts to figure out something is amiss and rallies its immunologic troops in an inflammatory response, releasing proteins called interferons — because they interfere with alien invaders. Interferons flood your bloodstream and set up camp in your mucous, prompting more proteins called cytokines to join the battle. These protein soldiers circulate throughout your body, ready to rumble. Full story

13 January