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Vogel Flu (say Fogel Flu)

This south-western part of Germany has been in the midst of an Indian summer over the past week. The daytime temperatures have been nothing short of amazing, even though we're rapidly running out of Autumn. I blame the good weather on the lack of pirates (and so global warming). I'm not going to get all environmental, or pro-fossil fuel here, but the global warming coverage hasn't let up in the past few weeks, so I figure it needs some additional comments. I recently listened (thanks Nature podcast!) to a brief story on how the activity of volcanoes have an effect on climate, and how the Earth might be naturally warming up as part of long term cycles. All very interesting, and really confuses the issue as to the whole picture surrounding climate change. It's all very hard, and to be honest, I don't really care very much why it is happening. As long as it keeps warming up Europe for me I will be a happy camper.

Even though the days seem quite warm, I'm still feeling really cold in the evenings. It is a bit of (un)conventional wisdom that there is no connection between feeling cold, and actually catching the influenza virus. I never really subscribed to that school of thought, and I always assumed it was kind of logical that being cold would result in a restriction in circulation to your extremities, and so to a slower reaction of your immune system, and more of a chance for the influenza virus to get a foothold (or nose-hold). I eventually stopped telling people that, as I had a complete lack of evidence to back me up. Imagine my surprise when I saw this article, which actually sort of confirms my hypothesis. I was close in my guess about constriction of blood flow in the extremeties (albeit only the nose). The home page for the research group from Cardiff, has a wealth of information on how to deal with the common cold. I'm glad that at least someone is working on the common cold, and not concentrating on that other flu.

2 comments

Hiren Joshi *

If anyone can find the actual PubMed ID for the article about the common cold, could you post it here? It's from the journal "Family Practice".

benjamin *

"Eccles R"[Author] is the author PubMed ID link (but the article isn't there yet), and the abstract (and pdf link) direct from the journal is
here.

"Conclusion. Acute chilling of the feet causes the onset of common cold symptoms in around 10% of subjects who are chilled. Further studies are needed to determine the relationship of symptom generation to any respiratory infection."

Thank you Hiren for helping me achieve something today.

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