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FWIW When my grandmother had a stroke and was swallowing a lot of phlegm, her nurse had me suction out the phlegm as much as I was able. But when I asked her what would happen if I couldn't suction it out, she shrugged and said "it'll go down her GI tract" like no big deal. Granny didn't have a virus, just a lot of phlegm, but maybe a concurrent infection, I can't remember as it was years ago.
Anyway that's my only recollection about this delectable subject.
Actually, you have special immune cells in your digestive tract that make swallowing rather than spitting better.
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