Jeannette Y. Wick, RPh, MBA, FASCP
The common cold is indeed common, given that its incidence is higher than that of any other human illness.
Despite the condition’s prevalence, no one has been able to determine how and why most individuals experience at least 1 cold every year.
A new article published in the Journal of Molecular Biology Research
reviewed the following 3 interesting aspects of the common cold.
1. More than 200 virus strains cause the common cold, but the most common are rhinoviruses.
Rhinoviruses seem to capitalize on cooling temperatures, and the longer individuals are exposed to relatively cold temperatures, the more likely they are to contract a cold.
That exposure can be inhaled cold air, body surface cooling, or lowered core body temperature. Even cold feet can increase the likelihood of contracting a cold.
Ambient cooling seems to disturb blood circulation and reduce vessel permeability. Nutrition at the tissue level deteriorates and resistance to infectious agents declines, which opens the door for viral infection.
2. Children are much more likely to contract colds than adults.
Most researchers believe that this has to do with children’s high body heat conductivity and immature immune systems. Children are also more sensitive to drops in temperature than older adults.
In addition, men are more likely than women to develop the sniffles, and men seem to suffer more from colds regardless of age. Some theorists believe that this is because men’s body heat conductivity is higher than women’s, or that women’s resistance may be tied to their reproductive role. Biologically, women may have evolved resistance mechanisms to protect their young.