If Colds Are Caused by Virus, Should You Care To Keep Yourself Warm in Winter?

Tuesday 6 January 2015

If Colds Are Caused by Virus, Should You Care To Keep Yourself Warm in Winter?

Winter time. Sometimes it gets really cold here in the UK, but it's still laughable in comparison to how cold it can get in Lithuania, the country where I am originally from. I don't mind cold weather itself, but the problem is cold causes illnesses and some winters are so bad that it feels like I simply don't get out of the vicious cycle of being ill - just as I start to feel better, a day or two and I am back to having a runny nose, a cough or something else unpleasant, and all due to cold weather.

Cold weather? But cold is caused by a virus, right? So, why blame the weather? Well, lots of people laugh at the idea that somebody can get a cold as a consequence of getting cold. They say that it's a virus to blame and it's nothing to do to being physically cold.

What causes the common cold?
Staying warm keeps virus at bay
So often I had to fight my husband to keep our kids warm so that they don't catch a cold. Chris would say that I was being silly, but I would say that I came from a cold country and I knew what happened when I got cold. There is an obvious positive correlation between being cold and catching a cold, so how can I deny it being true? At the same time I perfectly know myself that cold is caused by virus, so what's the logic? 

"The key to avoiding a cold could be as simple as keeping your nose warm with a scarf when you venture outside in winter." - says Daily Mail. "Research shows that low temperatures make it harder for the body to fight off the bug that causes half of colds in adults and almost all colds in children.

The finding backs up the popular idea that people are more likely to come down with a cold if they get chilly, perhaps by not putting on a coat in winter. In other words, mother was right when she told you to wrap up warm.

Previously, scientists have said colds are not caused by a drop in temperature but by everyone staying indoors in stuffy rooms.

Now, researchers from Yale University in the US have looked at how well rhinovirus, the bug that is the biggest cause of the common cold, grew and multiplied in cells kept at different temperatures. 

The germ found it easier to breed at 33C (91F) - the sort of temperature typically found inside the nose - than at the 37C (99F) found deep inside the body.

But crucially, the body's initial immune response to the cold does not work as well at 33C, meaning the virus was allowed to wreak havoc, reports the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences journal."

So, next time someone laughs at you for dressing yourself or your little ones warmly, refer them to my blog post or the Daily Mail, today's issue (Tuesday, January 6, 2015).

And, yes, my nose IS always cold, so maybe that's why I keep catching the cold so easily? Stay warm and stay heathy in winter!

How about you? Do you dress yourself warmly in winter or you are one of those who wears a T-shirt regardless of the weather?

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