General, Research, Technology

Can I catch a cold?

The link between cold and disease is not difficultto notice. Every year, at approximately the same time, queues in pharmacies are growing, and sales of antiviral drugs are skyrocketing. Recently, researchers at Yale University found that there is a direct relationship between temperature and the ability of the human body to fight viruses. According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the lower the body temperature drops, the more likely the virus to become a full-fledged master of the situation.

The advice of specialists to dress warmer in the cold season has good reason

Rhinovirus is to blame

Rhinovirus infection is called acuterespiratory disease that causes a virus of the genus Rhinovirus. Sore throat, runny nose, fever - these are the main symptoms of the disease. According to experts, in the autumn-winter period rhinoviruses make up from 30 to 50% of all cases of SARS infection. The situation is complicated by the fact that getting infected with rhinovirus is not difficult. It is enough to shake hands with the infected person or just to be with him in the same room. However, the common cold is not the only danger of rhinovirus. So, it often becomes the cause of exacerbation of asthma.

Read more news from the world of science and high technology on our channel in Yandex.Zen

Rhinovirus was first cultivated in the 1960syears. Even then, researchers found that the virus multiplies better at a temperature slightly lower than the temperature of the human body. The insidiousness of rhinovirus infection also lies in the development of complications. So, tonsillitis, otitis media and sinus infections - often become a continuation of the common cold in people with weakened immune systems. In addition, chronic diseases are exacerbated due to rhinovirus infection. Agree, so far everything looks so that there is no doubt - if the rhinovirus is most active when the temperature drops, then in the autumn-winter period you really need to dress warmer. But not so simple.

How does the immune system respond to cold?

Researchers from Cornell University (USA)decided to find out how sensitive the human immune system is to rhinoviruses and how it reacts to lowering the temperature. As a sample, scientists took a strain of virus adapted for mice and tested it on cells from the airways of rodents - the nose and lungs. By incubating the virus and airway cells at different temperatures, the researchers were able to measure gene activation and chemical signal transduction within the cells. In other words, scientists were able to determine the immune response of cells.

Rhinoviruses look different under a microscope

To always stay abreast of discoveries from the world of popular science, do not forget to subscribe to our official channel in Telegram

It turned out that exposure to cold airmay decrease the body’s ability to fight infection. Thus, it is more difficult for people suffering from disorders of the immune system, as well as chronic respiratory diseases, to fight a cold. Moreover, with hypothermia, the risk of getting a cold in such people increases significantly. So if you are not sure that your immune system will cope with rhinovirus 100%, dress warmly and do not neglect the advice of specialists.