SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s a fact that people get sicker in the winter. The common cold fills doctor’s waiting rooms this time of year more than anything else.
The big thing to know is that the common cold is virus, and a recent study at Yale came up with two key findings: Cold weather helps the cold virus replicate and duplicate, and cold weather decreases the immune system.
Cells which line the nose activate defenses when they detect a virus. They’re active at body temperature, but when it gets colder; they get sluggish and don’t want to do what they are supposed to, so the virus flourishes. The end result is a cold.
In fact, The Yale study showed that 20 percent of people have the common cold virus in their nose as any given time.
So that old wives tale of keeping warm and your nose warm seems to be a good idea, and hand washing is something doctors always recommend to keep the virus at bay.
“If you know that you are around sick people, try to stay away from them. You can try to over the counter medicines, but if nothing else works, come on in,” said Dr. Michael Sevilla, family practice physician.
Flu season heats up in February, but right now it’s only active in Virginia and Maryland.
To build your immune system doctors suggest a healthy diet, exercise and good hygiene.