Indiana News

Doctor: Change in Temps Doesn't Mean You'll Catch a Cold

Says we may get more colds during winter from indoor factors


The forecast says we will warm up this weekend, followed by colder weather early next week.  But unlike what your mother may have told you, that doesn't mean you are more likely to catch a cold.


"A lot of people attribute their winter colds to times when the temperatures may be up and down," said Dr. Christopher Belcher, an infectious disease doctor at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis.  "But there's not a lot of science behind it.  There's probably other things connecting winter weather to colds."

One of those things might be the fact that we are inside more, "clustered around other people.  That may contribute to the spreading of bacteria and viruses in winter," Belcher said.  Another factor may be that the weather is generally less humid during winter, which causes our noses to dry out.  "The mucus, that barrier inside the nose, is such an important defense from viruses and bacteria that when it dries out and cracks, we may be more susceptible to infection."

Another trope you may have been told that is not true - if your hair is wet, say just after a shower, going outside in the cold will not necessarily make you sick.  "We don't have scientific evidence that there's any truth to that," Belcher said.  "But your mother was right in that you should get a good night's sleep and wash your hands.  Those will definitely make a difference in the chance that you will get a cold."



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