March 4, 2008

Why flu and colds are common in winters

If it had always puzzled you as to why flu and common colds are so common in winter, then scientists think they have solved this mystery.

According to new research, it has been found that the flu/influenza virus coats itself in a protective fatty shield that is tough enough to withstand cold temperatures. The butter-like material only melts when it hits the respiratory tract, leaving the virus free to infect cells - a process scientists say is like an M&M melting in the mouth. However, in warmer outdoor temperatures, the protective coating melts before it reaches a person or an animal, killing the germs before they can infect someone. Researcher Duane Alexander adds: 'Now that we understand how the flu virus protects itself so that it can spread from person to person, we can work on ways to interfere with that protective mechanism.'




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