Are colds caused by cold weather?

Are colds caused by cold weather?

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Can you catch a cold from cold?

In some regions of Germany, winter weather has meanwhile arrived. Those who are outside in the cold temperatures should wrap themselves up as warmly as possible so as not to catch a cold, it is said. But is it really true that cold increases the risk of colds?

The term cold indicates that the condition may have something to do with the cold. But is the weather actually to blame for the flu infection? Isabel Valdez, a general internal medicine instructor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, said in a recent post that colds are spread by a virus - not because of the weather.

Existing diseases can worsen

“Because it's cold outside, a lot of people tend to stay inside, and therefore be close to other people, so all the germs that others may have can be inhaled. These germs are in the air and can easily get into our sinuses and lungs if we breathe them in, ”said Valdez.

But even if the weather does not necessarily make you sick, according to the expert, it can worsen existing diseases.

People who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma or COPD are at higher risk of disease. According to Valdez, these patients can reduce their risk of disease by taking the medications recommended by their doctors.

Weather-related myths about colds

Some other weather-related myths about the supposedly increased risk of colds, which according to Valdez also do not apply:

  • Go outside with wet hair.
  • Go out barefoot.
  • Forget to cover your neck when the temperature drops.

How to avoid colds

The best way to avoid a cold is proper hygiene and rest. Valdez suggests washing your hands more often, especially if you have coughed or wiped your nose. The Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) also has some important tips on its "" portal:

  • When coughing or sneezing, keep at least one meter away from other people and turn away.
  • It is best to sneeze or cough in a disposable handkerchief. Use this only once and then dispose of it in a trash can with a lid. If a tissue is used, it should then be washed at 60 ° C.
  • If no handkerchief is at hand, you should hold your arm in front of your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and also turn away from other people.

It is also important to sleep well. Because according to Valdez, studies have shown that adequate sleep reduces the likelihood of getting sick.
[GList slug = ”10 home remedies for cold”]

Recommended home remedies

For those who still get sick, there are some home remedies that Valdez recommend:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated by drinking water or eating soup and broth. Avoid liquids that can dry out, such as caffeinated sodas, coffee, or alcohol.
  • As soon as cold symptoms appear, you should use over-the-counter zinc lozenges or syrups to reduce the duration of the illness.
  • Drink hot herbal tea or gargle with salt water to relieve a sore throat.
  • Avoid strenuous activities and rest so that your energy flows into fighting the disease.

When to see a doctor

In conclusion, the expert advises when to see a doctor for a cold:

  • High fever that lasts for more than a day or two.
  • Cough that lasts more than two weeks.
  • Sore throat that makes swallowing or eating difficult. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Baylor College of Medicine: Can you catch a cold from being cold ?, (accessed: November 16, 2019), Baylor College of Medicine
  • Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA): Hygiene when coughing & sneezing, (accessed: November 16, 2019),

Video: How to tell the flu from a cold (May 2022).