No, Cold Weather Will Not Make You Sick

Illnesses are spread by viruses and bacteria, not the weather

The saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait five minutes and it will change.”

That saying will be put to the test Saturday afternoon when the temperature, predicted to be in the low-70s, is expected to quickly dive below freezing by midnight.

But there is another common belief that needs to be dispelled, according to doctors – the changing temperatures will not make you sick.

“We hear that all the time. For the most part, however, it is a myth,” TLC Pediatrics of Frisco Dr. Seth Kaplan said. “Illnesses are spread by viruses and bacteria, not by the weather changing suddenly.”

Viruses like the flu typically reach their peak between now and February, and the structure of the influenza virus allows it to replicate and spread best when air is cold and dry, according to this report from The Weather Channel.

An exception to the idea that the colder weather cannot make you sick is in the case of children with asthma, according to Kaplan, which can flare up due to a sudden drop in temperature.

In addition, when the weather is colder, people spend more time indoors than they would otherwise, which would put them into close contact with other sick people.

“We see a change in people’s habits, therefore things can spread easier when they’re inside,” Kaplan said. “Also, you can feel a little different because of the changes in the air pressure, which can lead you to maybe have a little bit of a headache or maybe feel a little achy when things change suddenly, like they have last weekend and they’re going to again this weekend. But that’s not actually getting sick. It’s just feeling a little bit different.”

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