Catch a Cold

The Real Invisible Culprit of Cold in the Cold Weather

Generally, we think it is easy for people to catch a cold when going out in cold weather or when the weather changes frequently. However, low temperature is not a direct cause of colds. In fact, there are other culprits. Let us see what experts say. This article will help you debunk myths and improve your understanding of the link between cold weather and the prevalence of colds.


Cold myths: who is the culprit?

In fact, the virus is the main cause of your illness, not the cold weather. You will only get sick when you are exposed to rhinoviruses or infected by influenza viruses. The peak prevalence of rhinoviruses is spring and autumn, and the peak of influenza is in winter.

Cold weather, on the other hand, can stimulate the immune system, according to a study by the America Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. For example, when going out in winter without a coat or scarf, the immune system responds to cold weather. Researchers found that low temperature stimulates the immune system, especially the increase in the secretion of the body’s natural “decongestant” – norepinephrine.


Low body temperature slows down immunity, the virus takes advantage of it

In addition, low body temperature is also a risk factor that increases the risk of colds. When the body temperature is abnormally low, it is easy to cause cold, and the low temperature of the human body will suppress the immune system, making the immune system unable to effectively fight rhinoviruses. Moreover, when you go out in winter, the blood vessels will constrict, especially the blood vessels on the surface of the skin, such as the blood vessels in the nose. The constriction of the blood vessels in the nose will dry out the nasal cavity, resulting in a decrease in the nasal cavity’s ability to filter viruses. When back to room temperature, the blood vessels dilate again, but the nasal congestion becomes more serious. You have to breathe through your mouth. The dry air in the room, and the weakened function of the nasal cavity to filter viruses, which contribute to the chance of the virus in the nasal mucus causing a cold.


Stay indoors for a long time in winter, the virus is easy to spread

Cold air may indirectly cause colds. When the weather turns cold, people tend to stay in warmer places indoors. The closed indoor space also becomes an environment for infectious germs. After all, the central air conditioner with indoor heating is more likely to cause colds or a good way for the flu virus to spread. The dry air outside may also be a conduit for influenza outbreaks. The National Institutes of Health pointed out that influenza viruses can survive and spread in dry and cold air, but in winters near freezing temperatures, the virus coat is stronger. As a result, the virus is more active and adaptable, making it easier to infect.




Related Topics



Respiratory disease – NHS

Common cold – NHS

The Common Cold – NIH

Common cold – Wiki

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