How not to catch a cold, according to science

TL;DR version: Wear a scarf

It turns out your mum was right all along...

Scientists have been working on a new strategy for avoiding a cold in the winter - keep your nose nice and warm.

In findings which they say “give credence” to warnings about wearing a scarf, experts at Yale University found viruses that cause the common cold replicate more easily at the lower temperatures encountered in extremities of the body like the nose.

Too simple an explanation?

Despite the name, there is still debate over whether the viruses that cause colds benefit directly from low temperatures.

Many experts think colds peak in winter simply because we spend more time indoors with one another, speeding up the spread of more than 200 types of viruses that cause the mild infections.

How did the Yale team reach their findings?

The Yale team, who published their study in the US journal, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, discovered that it was likely temperature also played a part.

They found that cells taken from the airways of mice had a better immune response to a rhinovirus, one of the main causes of the common cold, when kept at 37C - a human’s core body temperature – than at 33C, which is more like the temperature that might be encountered in the nose.

More: The cold weather is making you bitchy, says science

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