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Infectious Diseases

Catching colds and flu

01/25/2006

Question:

I wasn`t sure which catergory this would come under, but it involves catching a cold or the flu. I know that germs are the cause of getting these conditions and being outside in the cold whether without a jacket doesn`t cause someone to get them. But someone told me that if you are exposed to a cold environment and then warm one, back and forth, it can make someone sick with the cold or the flu, and does involve germs somehow. If that is true, can you please explain how that happens? Thanks

Answer:

The only issue is whether the change of environment (temperature, humidity) dries the nose and throat membranes and makes it more likely that the virus can gain entrance to the tissue.

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Response by:

Gary   Roselle, MD Gary Roselle, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati