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Why Do We get sick when it’s cold or in seasonal change?

Finally, the scorching summer is gone, and a climate suitable for human beings is ushered in, but before they start to enjoy the coolness, many people have already started to catch a cold.

Why is it so easy to get sick in a short period of time from summer to autumn? Experts say that it has nothing to do with the drastic temperature changes, except that the body’s resistance is lower at low temperatures.

This season is also an active period for rhinoviruses and coronaviruses. The viruses multiply in the air in large numbers, and people will win the bid if they are not careful.

According to medical research, most adults have 2 to 4 colds per year, and children have 5 to 7 colds, which is roughly in line with the seasons of the year.

In particular, in the three seasons of autumn, winter and spring, the infection rate of colds and flu will increase slightly.

The chance of getting a cold is correlated with seasonal changes, but drastic temperature changes are not the direct cause of illness, but rather temperature changes that allow different groups of viruses to thrive.

Experts point out that two of the most common viruses that cause the common cold, rhinoviruses and coronaviruses, both thrive in cool, dry weather.

The most common virus, human rhinovirus (HRV), responsible for 40% of all colds, is especially active in cooler weather.

While winters are definitely colder, they are wetter in many parts of the world, so many viruses prefer a cool, dry fall or spring. When the air is cold and dry, it’s a flu-prone environment.

In addition to the fact that the virus itself is active in cold and dry environments, the body’s body temperature also affects immunity.

According to a Yale University study, a lower temperature inside the nose can make it harder for the body to fight the virus and make it easier for the virus to increase.

If it’s windy, a dry nose can make it easier for viruses to enter the body.

The study found that cold viruses replicate more easily when nose temperatures are about 37 degrees Celsius below core body temperature, and the researchers determined that at slightly cooler temperatures, such as below 33 degrees Celsius,

Interferon, a key immune system protein, was damaged, and the cold virus was more likely to multiply and spread in the airway cells of mice.

Later, scientists also studied human airway cells. By observing infected cells incubated at 37 or 33 degrees Celsius, they found that even without interferon, cells can still control the virus, which is another cold resistance mechanism in the human body.

In short, at core body temperature, infected cells die faster, preventing viral replication. In addition, RNAseL, an enzyme that attacks and degrades viral genes, is enhanced at higher temperatures, pathways that help the immune system defend against cold viruses.

But either route performed best at 37 degrees, with the study highlighting the effects of temperature on the immune system’s defenses.

Based on this theory, wearing a scarf around your nose and mouth may help when it’s cold outside.

Rhinoviruses can survive outside the body for 3 hours and sometimes up to 48 hours on touchable surfaces such as doorknobs or light switches, experts say to avoid colds during the transitional seasons by washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your face,

And maintain a good diet, sleep and exercise to enhance immunity. With a little effort and some luck, when the seasons change and the cold strikes, you can still get through it.

Mehmet S. Kaya
Mehmet S. Kaya
Mehmet is one of the administrator of Teknonel. As a software developer, he loves to share his knowledge in related topics. He is highly familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, publishing, and performance analysis as well as product reviews.

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