They discovered why we get sick more in winter. And the reason is unexpected

Lowering the temperature by just 5 degrees cuts the immune response almost in half

For years, it was thought that cold and flu viruses were prevalent in the winter because cooler temperatures kept everyone indoors. And while we breathe the same air in small spaces, viruses are more easily transferred from one person to another.

But now new research, published by a team at the Massachusetts Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist Hospital and Northeastern University, suggests there may be biological reasons why we’re at a significantly increased risk of illness when temperatures drop.

Scientific work proves that cold temperatures outside reduce immunity in the nose and make us more susceptible to viruses. Lowering the temperature of the nasal tissue by just 5 degrees Celsius cuts the immune response almost in half.

A large percentage of people are presumably easier victims for viruses. These are:

  • Young children – their immune system is not yet fully developed
  • Those employed in occupations that require contact with many people
  • Adolescents and adults with a baseline reduced immune system function
  • Cancer patients
  • Those who have undergone an organ or stem cell transplant.


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