[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
February 17, 1923

SEASONAL VARIABILITY OF DISEASE

JAMA. 1923;80(7):476-477. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640340032015
Abstract

It is well known that the frequency, severity and mortality of many diseases vary with different seasons of the year. That acute respiratory infections reach a peak in the late winter months, with a minor peak in the late autumn, is attributed to a lowered local resistance to infection with the unknown virus of "common colds" and the known pathogenic cocci, although as yet we have no satisfactory explanation as to why the exposure to cold lowers the resistance. To be sure, a physical chemist, Schade, would attribute to a decreased dispersion of the tissue colloids on cooling the increased vulnerability to bacteria, but this is pure hypothesis and does not explain how the invading bacteria fail to suffer a correspondingly reduced activity when chilled. In the lower animals, seasonal changes in metabolism are well recognized, such as the hibernation of some species, and the seasonal variation in reproductive activity,

×