Jan 8, 2015 5:55 PM

Mom had it right, cold weather could give you a cold


Turns out your mom had it right. Bundle up, or you could catch a cold.

The long-standing scientific claim has been that one has nothing to do with the other. Colds are caused by exposure to the rhinovirus, not exposure to cold temperatures. Now, new research out of Yale University is challenging that.

Researchers found when your core body temperature is in the normal range of 98.6 degrees, replication of the virus slows. But when the body gets chilled, the rhinovirus increased and multiplied.

Roughly one in five people carry the rhinovirus at any given time in the tissues of the nasal passages. Researchers say inhaling cold winter air exposes those cells to the chill that the virus likes to replicate and weakens the immune system.

Although they tested the theory on lab mice, they believe it holds true for humans, too.

While it still takes exposure to the rhinovirus to catch a cold, the new research shows being cold hinders your body's ability to fight off that virus.


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