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If the question were, "Does cold weather cause you to get a cold or the flu?", then the answer would be: no, there is no scientific proof that it does. The studies so far have shown no cause:effect relationship between being wet or cold and having an infection by a common cold or flu virus.

There are connections made by some people through anecdotal evidence, since the viral cold and flu "season" is in the cold time of year. Cold weather isn't the reason more people can be sick with viruses then, though. The cold temperatures and flu/viral illnesses are merely concomitant. Those infections are coincidental to the lower temperatures, not a direct result of cold temperatures on the individual or their immune systems. It is not that the cold temperature will directly influence an increase in infection rates, it is just that they tend to be at the same time of year. (See the related questions for more information about why the flu has a season.)

There may be some indirect effect of cold weather keeping us indoors together more closely where we are more likely to spread viruses to each other. Also, the lowered amount of sunshine in the winter allows more viruses to be in the environment because there are fewer sun rays to "kill" them than in other times of year. When someone has a runny nose from a cold and then goes outside, the nose will usually produce more rhinorrhea (runny noses) allowing the spread of more viral infections, especially in children who are not as careful with hand washing and other preventive methods.

However, the question does not limit being "sick" to only infections, so the answer to this particular question is: yes, it can make you sick. Obviously, exposure to extreme weather conditions can make you sick and even kill you. But the cause of the sickness is the injury from exposure, not an infection by a germ.

Hypothermia can cause illness but just feeling chilly or even getting "goosebumps" or shivering from the cold weather is not hypothermia. When medical studies use that term, it is used to refer to a specific measurement of core body temperature. The term is not used just to mean that someone felt cold.

Hypothermia is not the same as being cold, it is a specific medical diagnosis and :

  • It is defined as a core body temperature that is at or below 95 F (35 C). The normal human core body temperature is 98.6 F (37 C).
  • Needs to be treated if core body temperature goes below 95 F (35 C).
  • Affects motor coordination through impact to the nervous system at core body temperatures of 95 F (35 C).
  • Becomes life threatening below core body temperatures of 90 F (32.2 C).
  • When the core body temperature drops that low, at the start of a hypothermic condition, symptoms can include intense uncontrollable shaking and shivering, then if your body continues to get colder, the shivering stops when the core temperature gets between 90 F and 86 F.
  • It causes heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure to rise during the first stages of hypothermia as your body tries to increase metabolism and warm itself, but these vital signs fall once the core temperature gets 90°F (32.2°C).
  • Creates coma at below 86 F.
  • Heart rate becomes very irregular below 82 F and death can soon follow.

To catch a common cold or influenza, you need to be exposed to the viruses that cause those Infectious Diseases. It won't matter if you get chilly or go out for a few minutes without a jacket. That is an old belief from before we knew about germs that was due, in part, to the fact that colds and flu happen more in the cold weather.

While respiratory infections are caused by viruses and/or bacteria, there is some evidence that cold weather could increase the odds of getting sick, some of the proposed explanations are:

  • Dry air helps pathogens spread.
  • Dry air can reduce the layer of mucus which serves as protection in the respiratory tract.
  • Cold air can reduce the movement of cellular pili (used to move foreign bodies out) in the respiratory tract.
  • Cold-induced reduction of blood flow in some parts of the body may weaken the immune response in those areas (the body tries to preserve heat in the brain and internal organs subtracting blood from the rest).

However there is no conclusive research on this yet. See more information in the related questions.

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โˆ™ 2013-02-20 03:45:58
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Q: Does cold weather cause you to get sick?
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Related questions

Can cold weather cause nose bleeds?

If you are sick, it can sometimes happen.

Does going out in cold weather cause a cold?

No, just going out into cold weather does not cause a cold. Going out in cold weather doesn't cause the common cold. The reason more people have colds and flu in the Winter months is because we are inside more and exposed to the germs more frequently. Avoid contact with people who appear to be sick and always wash hands to lessen your chance of exposure.

Is the Mexican myth about getting sick from sweating in cold weather true?

yes, the Mexican myth about getting sick by sweating in cold weather is true!

If cold and flu are spread by a virus why does one get sick when one goes out in the cold?

Cold weather may cause a runny nose, and occasional sneezing, and both colds and the flu can be airborne. Therefore, its all in the bodys reaction to cold weather.

What is your dog sick with?

*cold*breathing problems*weather can make a dog sick

Can you get sick after taking a shower is cold and going outside in hot weather and get sick?


If you are sick should you stay out of the cold weather?

If you are sick, you should generally stay out of cold weather to prevent undue strain on your body. Cold weather requires your body to work harder and may slow healing or worsen symptoms.

Does cold water and hot weather make you sick?

No and Yes. the hot / cold difference can lower your immunity and then you will get sick. You don't catch a cold by being cold but you get sick after being cold weakens your immunity.

Does changes in weather make you sick?

Some people have headaches or sinus pressure and congestion when the barometric pressures change with weather fronts moving through, some have joint aches and pains when the weather is rainy, and you can get sick from overexposure to heat, cold, or any of the elements. Weather changes do not cause you to catch a cold or the flu or other infectious diseases, however.

What would happen if you were running in cold weather?

You'll get cold... you might get a cold or a sick and cold

Why you always feel cold even the weather is not so cold?

Because you re sick.

Can scarlet fever cause breathing pain in cold weather?

Can scarlet fever cause breathing pain in cold weather

How can horses get sick from cold weather?

Horses can become sick from the cold weather in a couple of ways. Firstly if a horse is exercised in cold weather the air does not warm up enough before it reaches the lungs and it can cause asthma like symptoms in the horse which requires veterinarian treatment. Another way is again if the horse is worked in the cold weather and allowed to get hot and sweaty and is put away without being cooled down and possibly blanketed. The cold will begin to cause the horse to shiver and become miserable and its immune system can become compromised allowing infections such as influenza to take hold.

Does cold weather cause acne?


Why do people get sick when the weather is cold?

If you don't wrap up warm propely you can catch a cold.

Does wet hair cause a cold in the cold weather?

No. Not of and by itself

Do snails like warm or cold weather?

Snails prefer warm weather. Cold weather may cause them to hibernate.

Does people get sick from cold weather or from indoors a lot more?


Does cold weather cause you to be sick?

No. Many illnesses such as the common cold and the flu are more common during cold weather because during those times people spend more time inside in close contact with other people, making it easier for infections to spread.

Does cold weathewr cause an ear infection?

Yes cold weather can cause ear infection

What types of weather cause friction on surfaces to decrease?

cold weather

What are disease cause by cold weather?

No connection between cold weather and diseases have been found in any studies.

Can cold weather make your teeth hurt?

Cold weather can make your teeth hurt. If you are extremely cold and your teeth chatter, it can cause pain.

Do global winds cause cold weather?

Yes they do, warm weather also.

How do you know when the cold is over?

weather answer: when its hoter Sick answer: when u feel better but you could still carry the cold.