Can you catch a cold from getting cold?
Now that it is November, the weather is getting colder. Even here in South Louisiana, people are starting to break out the sweaters and jackets so they can bundle up. Moms are forcing their children to wear long pants to school and put jackets on before they leave for the school bus. When the children complain moms say, “You don’t want to catch a cold.” But can you catch a cold from getting cold?
The simple answer is no, you cannot. When you get a cold, runny nose, cough, perhaps a fever, you have come into contact with a virus. Just like COVID-19, the cold virus lives on surfaces so regular hand washing and sanitizing can help reduce the risk.
The colder temperatures outside do not cause colds alone, although the colder weather may irritate other conditions like asthma which can make your body more open to viruses. However, you still have to come into contact with the cold virus to catch a cold.
But Moms are not entirely wrong either. When we breathe, we exhale not just carbon dioxide from our lungs, but tiny water droplets too. These water droplets carry viruses into the air where they either land on surfaces or others breath them in. This is why government officials have issued mandatory mask ordinances during COVID-19. It has been found that when children exhale, the water droplets they expel have a higher concentration of viruses than adults. So moms are right to be concerned about their children getting sick at this time of year.
Just like with COVID-19, you can reduce your risk of catching a cold by washing your hands regularly, disinfecting objects, door handles, and other frequently touched surfaces, and wearing a mask or covering your cough with your elbow. So do bundle up when it is cold outside, but don’t worry about catching a cold just because it’s cold.