Zee Media Bureau
London: The period that falls around the time of monsoon season is the worst when it comes to health, since it invites the onset of problems like cold, fever, cough and all sorts of viral infections.
If viral makes you miserable, a new study has found something that you can take as a warning bell of sorts.
The study conducted by a team of scientists including one of Indian-origin, has revealed that the human body is at a higher risk of catching infections in the morning.
The reason for this is our body clock, which accelerates the ability of viruses to replicate and spread between cells ten times faster during the morning than by the end of the day.
Disruptions in our body clock lead to increased virus replication and dissemination, indicating that severity of acute infections is influenced by circadian time-keeping.
"The time of day of infection can have a major influence on how susceptible we are to the disease, or at least on the viral replication, meaning that infection at the wrong time of day could cause a much more severe acute infection," said Akhilesh Reddy, Professor at University of Cambridge.
"Our results suggest that the clock in every cell determines how successfully a virus replicates. When we disrupted the body clock in either cells or mice, we found that the timing of infection no longer mattered – viral replication was always high," added Rachel Edgar from University of Cambridge.
"This indicates that shift workers, who work for some nights and rest for other nights and have a disrupted body clock, will be more susceptible to viral diseases. If so, then they could be prime candidates for receiving the annual flu vaccines," Rachel noted.
In addition, Bmal1 -- a gene that controls the circadian rhythm -- also undergoes seasonal variations. It remains less active during winter, while it increases activity in summer, thus explaining the reason why diseases, such as influenza, are more likely to spread throughout populations during winter, said the paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
(With IANS inputs)