Turns out the cold is called that for a reason: it thrives in cooler temperatures.
According to a new study, the common cold virus, or rhinovirus, can replicate better at the temperature usually found in our noses than in the warmer lung cavity.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that cells in the air passage could mount a stronger defense against rhinovirus at core body temperature (37°C) rather than the colder temperature usually found in the nasal cavity (33 to 35°C).
This could potentially mean that the warmer your nose is, the better chance you have to fight off a cold. Easier said than done now that we're breathing cold air almost every day, but a scarf could help.
Akiko Iwasaki, one of the study's co-authors, told Today.com that wearing something over your nose could potentially keep colds away.
"If you can prevent the airway temperature from getting lower, it’s probably a good thing," she said.
While the sniffles are usually short-lived, the virus has also been with humanity since, well, ever, leading some to wonder why we don't yet have a vaccine.
But any antiviral drug would face some major obstacles. First of all, there are many different strains, and not all of them show up every year, Yury A. Bochkov, associate scientist in the department of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, told Business Insider.
"It is difficult to find an antiviral equally efficient against 160 rhinoviruses," he said.
Also, any drug to treat the usually mild ailment would need to have less risky side effects than the virus itself to be approved, the University of Texas' Thomas Smith told the publication.
So while we may have to wait a while for a cure, wearing a scarf or balaclava over your nose could stop you from being infected in the first place. It's also cheaper than buying several bottles of cough syrup.
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