The Flu and Cold Weather - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/6/08

The Flu and Cold Weather

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Have you ever wondered why we get more colds in the winter?  The National Institutes of Health has been studying that and has published their results in the online journal Nature Chemical Biology.

Researchers say that cold weather may help the flu virus spread because the outer membrane of flu virus cells liquefy when exposed to warm temperatures, causing the virus to die.  But when it's cold, the outer cell membrane hardens, keeping the virus intact until it can enter a person's respiratory tract.  Once in the respiratory tract it thaws and quickly infects other cells.

And just as flu bugs don't like warm weather, they don't like water either - which is why frequent hand washing is your best weapon.

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