Current Moon Phase

Waxing Gibbous
54% of full

Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Do Changing Seasons Cause Colds?

Do Changing Seasons Cause Colds?

“Bundle up, or you’ll catch a cold!”

How many times have you heard, or maybe even uttered, those words? Yet, science has repeatedly proven that there is no link between being cold and catching a cold. Colds are caused by any of more than 200 different viral strains – which is why it has so far proved impossible to find a cure for the common cold – and none of them become more potent in cold weather.

So, why do most colds occur during the fall, winter, and early spring, when the weather is colder?

There are a number of reasons why colds, and their close sibling, the flu, are more prevalent when the weather outside is frightful. Here’s a look at just a few of the contributing factors:

- School is in session. Generally, children get sick more often than adults. The reason for this is twofold: their immune systems aren’t as strong as an adult’s, and they haven’t been exposed to as many strains of cold and flu viruses as adults have. Fall, winter, and spring just happen to be when kids are in school, swimming in a soup of their classmates’ germs.

– Coming in from the cold.
Like kids, adults also spend more time indoors during the winter time, putting them in greater contact with others and increasing their chances of catching, or spreading, viruses.

– The nose knows.
It’s no secret that cold weather can dry out skin. This includes the inside lining of your nose. When that lining becomes dry and irritated, it is more vulnerable to rhinoviruses, the most common cause of the common cold.

– Stress less.
Both psychological and physiological stress can contribute to a weakened immune system, leading to more colds. Winter can be a very stressful time of year, between the holidays, the stress of driving in bad weather, keeping sidewalks and driveways clear of snow, furnace malfunctions, icy roofs, and getting the kids to all of those after-school functions … It’s no wonder you’re more likely to get sick!

- OK, you got us, it may be the weather … While temperature has no effect on viruses, humidity does. Most cold-causing viruses thrive in conditions of low humidity, which happens to be during the colder months of the year.

Fortunately, spring is almost here, which means cold and flu season will soon be a distant memory. Of course, that also means allergy season is almost upon us. Thanks to tree, grass, and flower pollen, allergy sufferers will soon be beset with runny noses and itchy, watery eyes.

At least there’s summer to look forward to …

5 comments

1 melissa { 09.15.14 at 11:35 am }

How to boost the immune system for year round colds and for retired folks.

2 Esteban from Uruguay { 03.14.14 at 8:38 am }

The people catch colds becouse they are lacking of vitamins and minerals. Since i did quit smoking and take Nutrilite dietary suplements, i have had none problemas with. Intresting article!

3 Mary Wikswo { 03.13.14 at 9:31 am }

I also suspect overheated public buildings and private homes are to blame. We keep our sleeping area cool in the winter and although my husband works with the public, we are rarely ill.

4 Lydia { 03.12.14 at 10:29 am }

While those might be valid minor reasons, the # 1 reason people get colds is because they are lacking in Vitamin D. Colds and Flu’s are a vitamin D deficiancy disease. Boost up your vitamin D levels, cut out sugar and processed foods and eat healthy and you will be less likely to catch anything.

5 Al { 03.12.14 at 9:53 am }

Also, take high doses of vitamin D3 with K2 to prevent colds and boost the immune system.

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.