Does the cold really give you a cold?

Respiratory viruses survive better in cool environments, which will also tend to irritate our nasal membranes and therefore make them more sensitive to attack. Zsolt Biczó/Adobe Stock

DESCRIPTION – One of the first lines of defense at work in our nose would be weakened when exposed to winter’s frost.

For a long time, the science was clear: you don’t get a cold or the flu by catching a cold! All we were told was whether or not we had been exposed to a pathogen, and the resurgence of infectious respiratory diseases in the winter comes from us spending more time indoors. Then science moderated its remarks, showing that respiratory viruses survive better in cool environments, which would also tend to irritate our nasal membranes and therefore make them more sensitive to aggression. As for our immune system, we don’t know if the cold really changes its effectiveness or how.

At least until the work of researchers from the universities of Boston and Cairo. They offer i Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology a mechanism that can explain this lower resistance to viruses in our body exposed to cold. When our nose vibrates, the cells in its lining are less able to release…

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