As the temperature slowly drops, start removing blankets, sweaters, socks, and warmers from your closet.Winter is usually synonymous with staying under warm blankets, drinking hot coffee or tea, and wearing the warmest clothes. cold, fluand other respiratory tract infections.
As we regain our health, we also wonder why respiratory tract infections are common in the winter.
What are the different reasons for the increase in respiratory tract infections in winter?
Experts have linked the weather to a higher incidence of upper respiratory tract infections due to an increase in respiratory viruses. Also, decreased temperature and humidity increase susceptibility to respiratory viruses. This is supported by recent research showing that cold temperatures lead to a weakened immune system, due to the cells of the nasal virus.
Experts believe there are other reasons as well, including:
Virus access is the nose
Studies have shown that extracellular vesicles, membrane-bound particles released by cells that protect the nasal cavity, are components of the immune response to respiratory viruses. EVs primarily carry DNA, RNA, and proteins and release most cell types. It also prevents viruses from binding to or infecting uninfected cells and modulates the nasal immune response. Studies have shown that winter-like temperatures lower the temperature of the nasal passages, weakening the immune response.
Relationship between low temperature and immune response
Previous research suggests that upper respiratory tract infections are common during the cold season because changes in human behavior, including temperature, humidity, and time spent indoors, increase the spread of upper respiratory tract viruses. This is supported by recent research suggesting that cold temperatures reduce the immune system’s response to viruses and increase the risk of infection. Sensitive to temperature changes. Studies have also shown that rhinoviruses are the most common cause of upper respiratory tract infections. These viruses can replicate more efficiently when the temperature inside the nasal cavity is colder than when it is hot. Experts are now conducting ongoing research to understand how changes in temperature reduce the immune system’s response and increase the risk of respiratory tract infections.
The mucous membrane of the nasal cavity secretes mucus. It is the first layer of protection against inhaled respiratory microbes and is important in protecting against infection. Mucosal nasal epithelial cells also transmit receptors (TLRs) that can activate innate immune responses. TLRs recognize infecting microorganisms and immediately begin producing immune proteins. Studies have shown that protein-carrying EVs bind to and neutralize microbes that enhance the immune response. These EVs may not be able to block the entry of infectious organisms. Therefore, the risk of infection increases.
Given the right conditions, viruses such as the influenza virus grow longer at low temperatures. Temperature, humidity, and proximity to humans increase the likelihood of infection. In tropical regions, the flu season is associated with the rainy season. A lack of sunlight also increases the risk of respiratory infections.
What are some other effects of cold on the immune system?
Experts suggest that cold weather can adversely affect immune responses, making the body have a harder time fighting infections. .
- low vitamin D levels: During the winter, people are less exposed to the sun and therefore get less vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining the immune system.
- When your body temperature drops, your immune system weakens.: A study conducted in rats found that mice exposed to the virus during cold weather had a reduced immune response to fight off the rhinovirus.
- narrowing of blood vessels: In cold, dry air, the blood vessels of the upper respiratory tract constrict to retain heat, preventing white blood cells from reaching the mucous membranes and making the immune system less efficient.
What can I do to avoid getting infected?
Below are some of the preventive measures to reduce the risk of infection.
- The CDC recommends always washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Also, avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth and nose with dirty or unwashed hands.
- Stay away from people who are constantly sneezing or coughing. Regularly disinfecting frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and handles also helps.
- Keeping warm, eating a balanced diet, and staying hydrated also help prevent infection.
When to Seek Doctor’s Advice?
You should contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- difficulty breathing
- constant chest or abdominal pain
- extreme muscle pain or weakness
- recurrent heat and cough
- Persistent lightheadedness or confusion
- Exacerbation of existing chronic medical conditions
In cold weather, you need warm drinks and warm clothes and blankets. They are also asked to take precautions such as maintaining body temperature, eating healthy, staying away from people with infectious diseases, washing hands, and staying hydrated. These measures can help prevent winter respiratory tract infections.
https://healthlibrary.askapollo.com/know-why-respiratory-tract-infection-is-common-in-winter/ Find out why respiratory tract infections are common in winter