A myth still prevails that cold winter weather is the culprit behind seasonal colds and flu. However, medical research indicates that those who reside in cold climates are no more likely to suffer a cold than someone who is basking in warm temperatures.
It’s not wet hair or the lack of a hat that causes common illnesses, it’s the flu or cold germs floating in the air that are responsible for these maladies. The colder weather may contribute, though. When breathing in cold, dry air, blood vessels can constrict in the nasal passages and dry out in the process, producing less mucous. This can make the nose a more susceptible place for viruses to infiltrate.
The cold weather may also affect a person’s immune system response. Some people’s immune systems actually strengthen when the weather is cold, while others’ systems weaken. Therefore it’s not exactly the cold weather that causes an illness, but it can play a role.
Similarly, when the weather outside is frightful people spend more time indoors, where airborne germs may be present. Once more, cold weather plays a role in illness but doesn’t exactly cause it.
Whether it’s rain or shine, cold or hot, the best way to avoid colds and the flu is to wash hands thoroughly and regularly, eat a healthy diet that keeps the body in illness-fighting form and avoid others in close quarters when they are sick.
Source: Rural-Urban Record 10-2011