Articles, Blog

Does Being Cold Make You Sick?

November 9, 2019


Winter is coming – and we’ve all been told to put on a jacket outside, or you’ll catch a cold! Of course, the common response of today has become ‘Don’t be silly, being cold can’t give you a cold’. Or can it? Who wins in this battle of the beliefs? The correlation between cold weather and sickness does stand out. Between 5-20% of Americans catch a cold or flu every year around late fall and winter. Not to mention, it’s called a cold. But there are some important things to consider. First and foremost: colds and the flu are caused by viruses. if there aren’t any around, you won’t catch a cold – no matter how cold you get. It’s as simple as that. So why the correlation with decreasing temperatures? Well for one, people tend to stay indoors much more often during the winter, which in turn, puts them in contact with more people. More people, means more exposure opportunities for the pathogens to spread. On top of this, humidity plays a role in the spread of some viruses. As the humidity decreases in the winter, not only does the virus spread more readily, but the mucus in your nose dries out. Mucus would otherwise act as a protective barrier to pathogens. Finnaly, the lack of Vitamin D which we get from the sun, can affect our immune system adversely. Both being inside more often, and the fact that winter has shorter days makes this a big factor for your health. So you’ve proven your parents wrong… right? Not so fast! While some past studies have shown no correlation to temperature, recent evidence suggest otherwise. One study which put test subjects feet into ice water found that they were, indeed, more likely to develop common cold symptoms in the following days, than those who didn’t. The developing hypothesis behind these results is that the cold temperatures cause blood vessel constriction, which slows the white blood cells from reaching the virus, ultimately inhibiting the immune response. Cortisol levels, which pressures the immune system, are also increased with temperature induced stress. Furthermore, studies on both mice and human airway cells found that immune reaction to the common cold virus, in fact, temperature dependent. Warm infected cells are more likely to undergo programmed cell death, to limit the spread of infection. Finally, studies of the virus itself have revealed a secret weapon of sorts. In winter temperature, the virus’s outer layer or envelope becomes much harder and acts like a shield. This allows it to spread from person to person much more easily. But at warm temperatures, this layer is more of a gel, which is not quite tough enough to protect the virus against the elements. As a result, its spreading ability is compromised. So, maybe your parents weren’t so wrong after all. A happy compromise of going outside more often, bundled up, is likely to get you through the winter unscathed. New to AsapSCIENCE? We’ve put together a couple playlists to make watching our videos a little easier. The first is a mix of our favorite and most popular videos, and the other contains every single AsapSCIENCE video in a row, because why not. Also make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter, G+, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine and any other social media you can think of. Links in the description. As always, ask away any burning questions, and subscribe, for more more weekly science videos.

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100 Comments

  • Reply Teodor Ilieski December 20, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Man's NOT hot

  • Reply mickey hickey December 25, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Yes it does you retards

  • Reply mickey hickey December 25, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Pneumonia. My mom is a nurse and she says this is retarded.

  • Reply Christian Gingras December 26, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    The link between cold feet, decreased blood circulation and immune system less active simply by physical impediment seems to match my personal experience. I remember having associated getting sick with having felt my feet very cold days earlier. However, using scarf around my feet and heating blanket only made my sweat and wet, still getting sick soon after.

  • Reply 7 6 December 30, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    How to avoid a cold (this method has prevented years of colds for me):

    1) Treat colds like allergies and use prevention methods

    2) Leave the house when turning on central heating for the first time of the year. A change in dust, heat and humidity irritate the nasal tissue which cause drainage, drainage causes coughing, coughing and climate change irritates the throat. Put dust filters in your vents to help. Turn on a humidifier and use a barometer to keep humidity around 45-50. Use a space heater instead of central and layer your clothing.

    3) When allergy season is in, cover your mouth and nose with a paper towel when walking from house to car and vice versa (especially if someone is cutting grass). If exposed to grass mold, dust, etc., do a sinus irrigation as soon as possible. Use anti-allergens on bed linens. Vacuum and dust regularly.

    4) Keep hand sanitizer in your car and use it if you have to touch public doors, shopping carts, etc. Don’t touch your face! If someone in public sneezes, go the other way.

    5) A probiotic can boost the immune system. Pro 15 Hyperbiotics is a good one.

  • Reply Satan Himsilf December 31, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    how can soldiers run and sprint in cold waters and just dip in and out in freezing water in the middle of winter!
    yeah they work out , they're tough! I've been running, lifting for 2 years now! I get sick too often .. like 8 times a year dafuq

  • Reply nnaruto. stuff January 1, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    I love winter and I’m always cold, but I like. I really hate summer cause I hate being hot and I don’t really like going outside.

  • Reply X hoodedx January 2, 2018 at 1:59 am

    Lol I saw the Legend Of Zelda shield xD

  • Reply Ayesha Amreen January 4, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    they said winter is coming without mentioning Game of Thrones 🙁

  • Reply ícҽís թհօҽղíx January 6, 2018 at 5:03 am

    I have a cold now 👃

  • Reply Atharva Deodhar January 9, 2018 at 2:52 am

    Mans not hot

  • Reply Aric Trinh January 11, 2018 at 11:44 am

    love the hylian shield!

  • Reply David January 12, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    when my tummy gets cold, I get tummy ache and diaear and vomit

  • Reply Marked Man January 17, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    The number one cause is the school year.

  • Reply Pratap Bhagat January 18, 2018 at 8:14 am

    I get sick frequently and .
    How the paracetamol and antibiotics affects us.
    I am now more scared of the medicines as I become sick frequently and eat medicines .
    Does the medicines can harm me.

  • Reply NickSux January 18, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    For some reason I like being cold more than being warn :I

  • Reply Noelle H January 25, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    I’d rather be freezing and sick than sweat profusely tbh

  • Reply Unanimated January 27, 2018 at 2:56 am

    Ehh I live in Texas so this doesn’t bother me to much

  • Reply SENPAI 02 January 27, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    my whole life was a lie

  • Reply Drip Papi January 29, 2018 at 4:07 am

    It actually doesn't

  • Reply Join the Infires Nation January 29, 2018 at 4:50 am

    I'm sending this to my Mexican mom.

  • Reply novembermember January 29, 2018 at 9:19 am

    omg that is the dragonbold shield from Dark Souls II!!!! So kewl

  • Reply Brady Frank January 31, 2018 at 11:27 am

    I used to live in Vermont and I always got a cold,even though I had a coat snow pants boots gloves and mittens,now I moved to Florida and I haven’t been sick for the past 7 months

  • Reply Rebecca Purcella February 1, 2018 at 5:18 am

    Are there really “cat people” and “dog people”?

  • Reply nguyentonha February 4, 2018 at 4:12 am

    Actually, the cold does nothing to your immunity. That just risks a chance to catch a cold.

  • Reply sirroxalot February 6, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    I stock frozen food for a living and I'm constantly going in and out of the freezer and will take deep breaths. My co-workers and I practically never get sick, even though the other departments do. I haven't even had a cold in over 15 years.

  • Reply Jason Voorhees February 16, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    But isn't cold showers great for the immune system making it more protective ?

  • Reply hot qahwe February 18, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    I came here looking for effects of Cold Showers please ty

  • Reply Orhan Demirci February 20, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Cold effects the immune system and u can be ill easily so it does😂

  • Reply mylandius February 22, 2018 at 5:32 am

    My cousin was adopted from an orphanage in Russia, there they would work to prevent their charges from getting sick by taking them outside in freezing weather and dunking them in cold water. Afterward they would dry off quickly and warm up but this was believed to boost their immune systems and keep them getting sick that winter. She stands by this superstition by taking a really cold shower once a year to this day. Do you think there is anything more to this?

  • Reply Are you okay? March 3, 2018 at 1:26 am

    i usually go to delis close to my house on shirts and shorts,and i dont feel sick

  • Reply Lil Boat March 6, 2018 at 12:34 am

    most teens get cold because we have school and there are a lot of people there

  • Reply Moved Account March 9, 2018 at 11:20 am

    This is in the book

  • Reply Demonic Dragon March 11, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    If your body is cold than it is fighting to be warm and if your body is fighting to be warm then it's not focusing on other problems of the body so it can't fight off viruses and bacteria as well because it is trying to keep you warm causing it to be under stress

  • Reply Chandran Durai March 19, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Common cold – how to treat at home
    http://bit.ly/2FUrdht

  • Reply Admin 99 March 20, 2018 at 2:32 am

    Being cold makes you sick

  • Reply Ryan Leiby March 20, 2018 at 2:43 am

    Yes cold weather does make you sick because cold air dries out your throat and weakens your immune system and makes it more likely to get sick

  • Reply Kari Waller March 23, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Good video! And i subed

  • Reply Scorpion MLG March 28, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    noo cold doesn't give cold but bactira is more active in winter and thats why u get ill

    sike

  • Reply Yin Yang Creations March 31, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    WHM! We don't need clothing! Nature is our home!

  • Reply sheepgray08 April 15, 2018 at 1:57 am

    Hahaha here I am. In Colombia where we don't have seasons yet we have times of the year where e everyone gets sick. Still this is really helpfull

  • Reply zenha Usman April 15, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Whats humidity

  • Reply Shane Delahunty April 21, 2018 at 6:58 am

    I think people who fear getting a cold while being out in cold weather are more likely to get sick simply because of their cowardly, stressed out attitude. Stop avoiding cold weather just avoid sick people!

  • Reply Rawan April 23, 2018 at 2:51 am

    In countries that have harsh winters for the majority of the year have a habit of going out in the winter in swimsuits. This isn't just done by adults by also enforce in elementary schools. Kids would have an allotted time during the school day to go out and "swim" in the snow. Based on certain research, this has shown to boost their immune response. But how exactly does that happen?

  • Reply Mitchowinge Ltd. April 30, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    So if you want to avoid sicknesses, put on extra layers?

  • Reply Ruth Noel May 9, 2018 at 5:16 am

    #NextLevel!

  • Reply SakumaRyuichiNG May 19, 2018 at 5:04 am

    HYEULE SHIELD 🙆🏻‍♀️💕💕💕

  • Reply Sercan Ergul May 20, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    🌬💨🤒🤧🤮

  • Reply Black_ Uchihia May 20, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    I like your drawing

  • Reply Health Glows May 23, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Hi! Thank you for this video. Would you then say that Pasteur was right with his virus theory? Have you heard of the French scientists Claude Bernard who proved that it is the toxicity of the body that is the cause of illnesses, rather than germs? How can it happen that not everyone in the same space get infected by a virus? Also, aren't all life forms, including germs, more active in summer time? If so, how it comes viruses don't "attack" more in summer? It is due to their outer layer as you explain in the video?

    I would love to read your reply and I am looking forward to it! THANK you in advance! 🙂

  • Reply 6lik6 May 25, 2018 at 5:45 am

    your brain on lean

  • Reply Ini Dia May 26, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Did mitch draw this?? Is that why he drew the hylian shield??

  • Reply BLXCK _ RXSE May 29, 2018 at 11:58 am

    we all take advantage of breathing until we get a cold

  • Reply Henry Gutierrez June 1, 2018 at 8:12 am

    That virus has an amazing shield.

  • Reply Daniël Van Zyl June 14, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    My class always complains because of me I openening all of the windows during the winter. . . I just do not want my class to be an incubator for viruses. I mean I teach classes of around 30 kids. . . 30 disease carrying kids

  • Reply Owen Bkbk tt June 17, 2018 at 3:02 am

    If this is true then why am I dying of the sickness in June

  • Reply Bea Roqueiro June 17, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    i never get colds on winter or fall, it's always on the transition to spring because the temperature is friggin crazy

  • Reply Dat Hamilton Life Tho July 28, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    I have question. I don't get sick during that time, but I usually get sick around spring time only. Idk why…

  • Reply xX_ LongTailKitCat3333 _Xx August 3, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    No, I love being cold

  • Reply Jordan Godwin August 6, 2018 at 12:33 am

    I got sick in first day of school it suck and now its a pattern

  • Reply Dat Hamilton Life Tho August 21, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    I get sick around spring time

  • Reply villan deku August 23, 2018 at 8:36 am

    When u watch this at 4:36am because your sister thinks it's a good Idea to keep it LITTERALY 60° in your room and you get strep throat so you can't sleep

  • Reply Bakugou Katsuki August 30, 2018 at 7:21 am

    My mom only thought this just bc yiur cold u get sick, no other reason. Just, "the tempature will make yiu sick" is all she beleives. Not the flu or anything

  • Reply i z z y September 21, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    I get colds in the summer

  • Reply Rui Lourenço September 25, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Wait, humidity doesn't go down in the winter everywhere. In fact, the comparison between humidity (and temperature) of the various seasons is how you define different climates. Mediterranean climate has dry summers and humid winters, for instances.

  • Reply Ethan October 24, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    Ok but you can get hypothermia

  • Reply 420 420 November 6, 2018 at 11:33 am

    in reno the rh increases in the winter… rh in summer is barely over 10% so idk

  • Reply rough rough November 9, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    Watching this while im sick fml

  • Reply kuo andy November 16, 2018 at 1:51 am

    I am glad to learn something I have never heard before.

  • Reply Ivan Weiss November 18, 2018 at 7:24 am

    How does this apply to hot countries (30C) ?

  • Reply Nikhil Krishnan November 20, 2018 at 11:58 am

    What about eating cold foods? Does it have anything to do with causing a cold or does it merely worsen it?

  • Reply ramrod 60th November 20, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Why are not Alaskan sick all the time if cold makes you sick they live in snow you're around they're not dead

  • Reply Israel Gav November 25, 2018 at 7:14 am

    How about right after workout, when the body is hot, and it's cold out. And you feel good with the cold temperature to cool down. Is that good to stay shirtless in till I'm cool again? Or will I get sick quicker if I don't out worm cloths in the ?

  • Reply Casey Edward December 12, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    use a Face Blanket and your face won't get cold

  • Reply Connie Durbin December 21, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    I havr the flu 🙁

  • Reply isabel lopez January 9, 2019 at 6:10 am

    I am planning on bailing out tommoroww

  • Reply NessMasterGengar! January 11, 2019 at 3:55 am

    In a nutshell: cold weather can't necessarily make you sick, but it can make you more acceptable to sickness

  • Reply Lilli January 20, 2019 at 9:33 am

    but its summer on a hot day and I'm cold and bad

  • Reply Grand Priest Goku 神道悟空 January 22, 2019 at 5:27 am

    but still being cold does not GIVE U a cold or flu, it only CONTRIBUTES to getting a cold or flu, maybe contribute greatly or barely, but then again, only CONTRIBUTES

  • Reply Amine Elazar January 27, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    Thanks man

  • Reply Ok Geez February 10, 2019 at 2:10 am

    i said "you can't catch a cold from being cold but it makes it easier to get a cold

  • Reply ALSADIG ALTAYEP February 10, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    If that's true, so how cold shower could be beneficial???

  • Reply Lena Srnic February 21, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Hi, the video is great! I would like my students to play this video at school! could you include a Serbian translation into the subtitles, please! thanks a lot!⚡

  • Reply Ark idie February 27, 2019 at 10:36 am

    I get sick every time the season changes. Also many times in between. Every year. I have school and I already have 9 absences even when I'm not staying home I'm often sick.

  • Reply Jake Ong Tone February 28, 2019 at 12:28 am

    AsapSCIENCE I have a question. Can cold showers make you catch a cold? Ive read that it instead boost your immune system. Right now I have a cold, could it be because I took a cold shower this morning?

  • Reply sosa kun March 5, 2019 at 11:59 am

    cold symptoms and an actual infection are different my guy….

  • Reply Basil S March 17, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    Thought cold showers are good for the immune system? 🤔

  • Reply Orla O'Sullivan Roberts March 24, 2019 at 4:11 am

    Unless you live in the tropics, where winter is literally the same temperature as English summer days.

  • Reply Stephen Osborne April 7, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Its chem trails. Thats making us ill

  • Reply BRANITOR April 10, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    But just saying I go to college, live in Canada and I don't wear a winter coat at all ! Haven't been sick at all so far ! I do put gloves however !

  • Reply Wizard Catkitten April 16, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Can you do the science of vacation

  • Reply meow point1 April 20, 2019 at 8:10 am

    So basically no, but it can indirectly.

  • Reply Gamer Lachlan July 30, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    I wanna get sick I never get sick I wanna know what it’s like again

  • Reply NH4 Ci September 5, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    I agree with the humidity and staying inside. However, a lot of people in Western Countries are chronically vit D deficient, including in summer. Also, viruses "die" when exposed to temperatures of >37 degrees celcius, which is (not the only) a reason why you get high fever when you're sick.

  • Reply Napoleon Bonaparte September 17, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    I get more sick in September than any other time of the year.

  • Reply Darkwolf moonlight September 18, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    I'm just never sick

  • Reply Basicslomotion October 20, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    My theory is that cold weather makes some people sick because your body uses more energy to stay warm therefore viruses or bacteria could have that opportunity to attack the body because your body is focusing on staying wrong. Again my theory is this? I am not saying I’m correct but it makes more logical sense than the “ stay home with people “ theory. I just came back from football and I just arrived home and I feel sick because it was cold outside. Now don’t tell me I got ill by coming home because I haven’t even been here more than 5 min

  • Reply Kaylee Tang October 23, 2019 at 10:30 am

    "HA! YOU HEAR THIS??? WEAR A JACKET IN THE WINTER SIS! STOP ACTING LIKE ELSA!!!!"

  • Reply Natural Facts October 23, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    great tips …. for more home remedies for common cold watch https://youtu.be/cWgR78jdqmY

  • Reply garry arganis November 8, 2019 at 5:33 am

    i swim in the winter on the sea to NOT get sick and it works , i get sick once per 3 years average. and when i get sick in these 3 years its mostly bcuz of some major outbreak or smth when everybody around me is literaly sick family my neighborhood etc. note i get sick for like 2-3 days while they get sick for 2-3 weeks and i get sick when everyone else is starting to get better.

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