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Scientists find the reason why people get more colds and flu during winters

In what is being hailed as a scientific breakthrough, researchers have at last identified the biochemical mechanism underlying the seasonal increase in cold and flu infections. According to a study that was released on Tuesday, breathing in cold air impairs the body’s immune system, especially the nose.

Dr. Zara Patel, a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine who was involved in the study, told CNN that ‘this is the first time that we have a biologic, molecular explanation about one element of our innate immune response that appears to be reduced by cooler temperatures.’

Published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the study found that since the nose is the first site of contact for respiratory viruses as well important for the body’s immune response.

Due to this, the nose is particularly sensitive to cold temperatures; in fact, the study discovered that a five-degree drop in temperature significantly reduced the number of cells that are responsible for combating germs and viruses in the nostrils by at least 50%.

However, the study was finished in vitro, which means that it was carried out in a lab on human tissue rather than on a live subject. Notably, they discovered that when exposed to lower temperatures, the nose enhances the replication of dummy extracellular vesicles by 160%.


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