Why Do People Get Sick When It Gets Cold

We finally know why we get more colds and flus in winter…..

Research has finally revealed why we are more likely to get sick when the weather is cold. When we are exposed to cold and flu viruses, epithelial cells at the end of the nose produce and release small sacs, called extracellular vesicles (EVs), that bind the invading germs and trap them in our nasal mucus (snot) for elimination. At normal body temperature (98.6 degrees), production of EVs can increase by 160% when germs invade.

A recent study has shown that in cold weather, the temperature at the end of the nose may decrease by 9 degrees – to 89.6 – and this drop is enough to reduce the production of EVs by 42%! This means more of the germs will proceed past the remaining EVs in the nose and gain entry into the body – giving us cold and flu infections.

When it’s cold outside, consider wrapping a scarf over your nose to keep it warm and to keep those EVs going strong!