Book author hits it right on the head in the NY Times. Overactive immune response causes colds, not the virus itself.
Posted Oct 07 2010 8:45pm
The New York Times this week ran an op-ed piece by Jennifer Ackerman , a science writer and author who has written an entire book about colds . Called “Achoo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold” the book takes an in-depth look at what the cold really is, and why it’s so dang hard to conquer it.
A key part of Ackerman’s discussion involves a description of our immune system in relation to the cold virus. She posits the notion that our immune system, especially when it over-reacts…is what really causes cold symptoms. You know, the stuffy nose, watery eyes, inflamed bronchial system.
“Here was a new insight in cold science: the symptoms are caused not by the virus but by its host — by the body’s inflammatory response. Chemical agents manufactured by our immune system inflame our cells and tissues, causing our nose to run and our throat to swell. The enemy is us.” That’s from the the op-ed piece. It’s what we’ve been saying all along. Read more.