A chill is in the air, and you all understand what that means — it’s time for flu and cold season when it seems everyone you understand is suddenly sniffling, sneezing or worse. It’s almost as if those pesky flus and cold germs whirl in with the first blast of winter weather.
Yet germs are present year-round — just think back to your lasting summer cold. So why do people get more colds, flu and now Covid-19 when it’s cool outside? Why is flu season in the winter?
In what researchers called up a scientific breakthrough, scientists behind a new study might have found the biological reason we get more respiratory illnesses in winter. It turns out the cold air itself damages the immune response that occur in the nose.
This is the foremost time that we have a molecular, biological explanation regarding one factor of our inborn immune response that appears to be limited by cold temperatures, said rhinologist Dr. Patel, an otolaryngology professor and neck and head surgery at Stanford University in California. She was not involved in the newest study.
In fact, reduce the temperature inside the nose by as little as 9 degrees F (5 degrees Celsius) killing nearly 50% of the billions of bacteria and virus-fighting cells in the nostrils, as per to the study published Tuesday in The Journal of Clinical and Allergy Immunology. Why is flu season in the winter?
Cold air is connected with increased viral infection as you’ve essentially lose out half of your immunity just by that small drop in temperature, said rhinologist Dr. Bleier, director of otolaryngology research at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and a professor at Harvard School in Boston.
While the winter season brings a certain amount of respite from the summer heat, it does not however lessen your risk of infections and illnesses. Rather, the chilly, cold months seem to make people more inclined to contract respiratory viruses including the common cold, COVID, flu and another infection. Interestingly, experts faith there could be a connection between winter weather and lessened immune response, which is why you’re more likely to get sick during the seasoning. Why is flu season in the winter?
Let us find out how…
The human nose is said to have a very well-organized defense mechanism that supports detecting bacteria and viruses and stops them from going deep within the body.
As per to Medical News Today, our noses continuously secrete sticky mucus, in which the viruses become confined. Then, these foreign intruders are moved by tiny hairs signified cilia, following which they are gulped down and then the stomach acids help attack and delete the microbes.
However, a new study shows that cold air lessens the effectiveness of the nose’s natural immune response i.e. cooling down the nasal passage and slowing up the clearance of mucus.
The new research conducted by Dr. Benjamin Bleier and his team, involved healthy volunteers, whose nasal temperatures were measured at about 74°F versus approx 40°F. It was found that the participant’s nasal cavity temperature dropped by about 9°F in the cold environment. In addition, they exposed the nasal cell samples to the same temperatures to check out what occurs within the nose in the cold climate. The study found that the immune response was lower up significantly due to temperature. Why is flu season in the winter?
As per to study co-author Bleier, the paper aims on a biologic, true, and quantitative explanation…of why the body is more receptive to viral infections when being exposed to cold temperatures.
Study co-author Amiji, chairman of the department of pharmaceutical sciences, further adds up that besides helping humans understand why respiratory viruses thrive during chilled months, the study findings could introduce new therapeutics i.e. if researchers do explore manners to boost the nose’s innate immune responses, especially under colder conditions. Why is flu season in the winter?
You only need to trigger that response locally to protect the rest of the body. It just speaks to how significant the nasal cavity is.
Research suggests that vitamin D plays a role in making an antimicrobial molecule that restricts how well the influenza virus can laboratory replicate studies.
Furthermore, a research study found that vitamin D offered protection against acute respiratory infection.
If we stick to this evidence, given that during winters, there is a low vitamin D amount intake from sunlight, one could be more susceptible to virus attack during cold months’ time. Why is flu season in the winter?
However, experts faith that more research is required to support the claims.
As of now, some of the best manners to protect yourself are by wearing a mask, ignoring crowded places, maintaining social distancing and following proper hand hygiene.
Keep eating an immunity-boosting meal and indulge in exercises that not only strengthen your immune system but also refine your lung health.
Most significantly, get yourself vaccinated against COVID and the flu. While breakthrough infections are widespread, the vaccines do stop severe illnesses. Why is flu season in the winter? Oh, I got it.