Although, there exist germs all year-round, respiratory illness is most common in the winter since it directly impacts the nose, the body’s entry site for germs.
Scientists behind a recent study claim to have made a new discovery by identifying the actual cause of why people suffer from respiratory illness more in winter. It turns out that the immunological reaction taking place in the nose is harmed by chilly air itself. Nearly 50% of the billions of viruses and bacteria fighting cells in the nostrils are killed by 9 degree Fahrenheit drop in nasal temperature.
A person’s immunity is essentially weakened by a slight reduction in temperature. Cold air is linked to an increase in risk of viral infection. The primary point of entry into the body is the nose, where respiratory viruses and bacteria can enter. The research team found that the front of the nose picks up on the germ right away, before the back of the nose notices the invader.
The nose’s lining cells then start producing billions of extracellular vesicles or EV’s. The EVs resemble tiny cells that have been modifies to go after the viruses and kill them. EVs serve as decoys, so when a virus is inhaled, it now attaches to the decoys rather than to the cells.
The study discovered that when under attack, the nose increases extracellular vesicles EVs by 160 percentage. Additionally, the body’s cells carry micro RNA, a viral killer that fights invasion pathogens. The study discovers that EVs in the nose have 13 times more micro RNA sequences than normal cells.
The inbuilt defence mechanism will function more effectively the warmer the intranasal environment. So it is always advised to wear a mask that can keep your nose warm and protect from chill atmosphere.