Why don't I always get sick when my wife does?

So my wife is at home right now, with a full blown case of what seems to be a mild case of Strep that she’s had for days. As I sat there tending to her needs with no symptoms whatsoever myself, I started to think back, and I can’t remember a time when one of us gave the other the bug. A co-worker can come to work sick, get no closer than 50 feet away from me, and I get it. But not the woman with which I share every imaginable household item, some of them of the I-can’t-believe-we-do-this-variety.

Are we just lucky, or is there some sort of innate bodily protection system between longtime SOs? Any other Dopers notice this?

Nope, we usually all get whatever it is, although I don’t think the SO and I pick up every little bug the kids get. Just in the last couple of months, though, both kids and I did get some sort of strep thing and SO didn’t get it at all. I hadn’t had strep throat in about 35 years.

Did you know you can never get the same flu more than once in your life? That’s because you can only get another one of the 700 or so different strains…

The answer is probobly because you’ve had it before.

same thing with indians… The common cold used to be fatal! But we’ve had it so long it’s a great way to get out of school/work lol

IANAD, but very often we have extremely mild cases of stuff and don’t even realize we are sick. Imagine how many bugs we are exposed to each day and your body is able to fend off with no ill effects. A bug that might take down your SO might “bounce right off you”. It depends on the state of your immune system at that particular moment I suppose…

I find that if I don’t get adequate sleep for a night or two I am much more likely to get sick. My guess is that my immune system is closely tied to the amount of sleep I get and by depriving myself sleep I am weakening my system to the point where it can’t fend off the bad bugs anymore. YMMV.

Not really. Memory T-cells and B-cells die off after a while, so immunity wanes over time. If it’s a mucosal infection, like a cold, immunity is IgA based, and so lasts for only a couple of months.

So to cure the common cold via vaccine, we’d have to finish identifying the thousands of viruses that cause cold-like symptoms, develop vaccines for all of them, then vaccinate with a couple of gallons of nasal spray every few months. Colds really aren’t all that bad.

Dooku, what’s so mysterious about that? Look at doctors, they are exposed all day everyday & they don’t get it. (usually)…

The trick is learning what viruses are & how they are spread. As long as you don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth, chances are excellent you won’t catch a rhinovirus.

Maybe you are Unbreakable.

She’s faking.

Uh…the difference between doctors and me is that they don’t have the same kind of physical contact with their patients that I do with my wife - I do nothing that you suggest - I touch my eyes, nose, mouth, her eyes, nose, mouth, I eat off her plate of food, drink from her water glass, chew her tossed out gum, exchange fluids (TMI?)…nothing happens to me.

But I quite easily catch stuff from my co-workers.

Although, maybe I AM unbreakable. Lemme see…ohmigod! I can bench press 500 pounds! What else can I do? Better not bother to see. But wait - water affects me, oh, nevermind, it doesn’t, b/c I just fell into a swimming pool and I’m fine. Now what should I do with my super powers? Eh…can’t really think of anything cool, I’ll just go back to work as a security guard. The End.