OT? Keep your nose warm

Several METARs have reported recent Covid cases. That’s a drag and also there are other microbes that enter via the nose and cause disease, especially during cold weather.

New research suggests the cause may be found within the human nose – specifically, that colder temperatures have an adverse effect on the efficacy of the immune response that takes place inside of the nose. It was news to me that the nose has its own immune system!

According to this new research, a decrease of just 9 degrees Fahrenheit in the tissue temperature of the nasal passages cut the number of microbe-killing extra-cellular vesicles (EVs) available to respond to a threat by more than 40%. The colder temperature also caused changes to the composition of the EVs that reduced their efficacy. The researchers theorize that all of this hampers the body’s ability to fight off respiratory viruses and leads to the annual winter surge.

I wonder whether part of the function of wearing a mask may be keeping the nose warm enough for the immune system to work.



Life imitates art, from fifty years ago.