(WHTM) — Parents love to say it; ‘put on a coat or you’ll catch a cold!”
But are they right?
“So simply going outside without a coat will not give you a cold,” said Dr. Katherine Shedlock, a pediatrician at Penn State Health. “Cold temperatures and dry winter air increase the risk of viral infections, so we’re more likely to get a cold in the winter season, but you have to actually see the virus in order to get sick.”
What about changes in the weather? Can warm weather one day, and then cold the next, put us under the weather?
“A lot of times it’s just the change in the humidity and temperature affects our sinuses,” Shedlock said. “We might have runny nose and things like that, but it’s just temporary changes.”
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And then there’s the question of immunity. People often think if they’ve already had the flu or COVID-19, they can’t catch it again.
“You should not consider yourself immune because you can catch these viruses again unfortunately,” Shedlock said. “We aren’t sure how long our immunity lasts with COVID or with the flu, but reinfection with the flu and COVID is possible. So even if you’ve gotten sick with one of these viruses, you should protect yourself as much as possible to prevent reinfection.”