Why Are You More Likely To Catch a Cold In Winter Indoors, or When It’s Cold Out, and Why Do You Catch a Chill?

There is no connection between being cold and catching a cold.

The erroneous association developed for several reasons.

The viruses that cause colds spread faster in the winter because people spend more time inside, where they are closer together.

People close the windows in winter so air contaminated by virus particles is not diluted by ‘fresh’ air from the outdoors. This makes it easier for the virus to spread.

The cold, dry air of winter makes the mucous membranes in the nose swell. This produces the ‘runny nose’ we often incorrectly associate with an infection caused by a cold virus.

The experience of catching a chill and getting a cold is actually the reverse of the correct order of things. The chill is often the first sign of fever that is the result, not the cause of, the infection by the cold virus.

Many studies have shown that there is no correlation between environmental temperature and suffering from colds.

The origin of the old wives’ tale that predicts colds, flu or pneumonia after being exposed to cold temperatures is the short period of fever that precedes the distinctive symptoms of these illnesses.

These periods of fever make the patient feel cold and shivery. Shortly after developing other symptoms, the patient then associates the illness with having ‘caught cold’. Indeed, the ‘flu is called influenza from the belief that it was caused by the ‘influence’ of the elements.

The fact that isolated researchers living in Antarctica never catch colds confirms that these are caught from people and not from ‘cold’.

There is actually less chance of your catching a cold in the cold.

The virus known as the common cold dies in cold and needs warmth, say the cosy indoors of a home beside the fire started to keep out the cold, to thrive.