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This is why flu and Covid strike more in winter

2022-12-06T15:11:09.812Z

It has been discovered why colds, flu and Covid-19 strike more in the winter season. As previously thought, it has nothing to do with the fact that people spend more time indoors in winter, but the cause is precisely the low temperatures: the cold suppresses the first line of immune defenses that are put in place in the nose (ANSA)



It has been discovered why colds, flu and Covid-19 strike more in the winter season.

As previously thought, it has nothing to do with the fact that people spend more time indoors in winter, but the cause is precisely the low temperatures: the cold suppresses the first line of the immune defenses that are put in place in the nose, the main way of entry into our body of viruses that infect the airways.

This was demonstrated by publishing the results in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the research group led by the hospital specializing in eye and ear diseases of the US Harvard Medical School, which worked in collaboration with Northwestern University.

The discovery opens up to therapeutic solutions that hide this weak point, such as nasal sprays that strengthen weakened immune defenses.

The nose is one of the first points of contact between the external environment and the inside of our body.

A 2018 study, published in the same journal and led by the same institute, had discovered the existence of an immune response triggered by bacteria and viruses entering the nose: the cells in the front part, in fact, detect their presence and release in the mucus billions of tiny fluid-filled sacs (called extracellular vesicles), which surround and attack intruders before they enter the body.

Now the researchers led by Di Huang have shown that this mechanism is influenced by temperature: they have observed, in fact, that a 5 degree decrease in the temperature at which the nasal cells are found weakens the immune response and almost halves the amount of vesicles produced.

"The question now is: how can we exploit this phenomenon - asks Mansoor Amiji of Northeastern University, co-author of the study - to protect the nose more, especially in the cold months?".

Source: ansa

All tech articles on 2022-12-06

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