Doctors say temperature shifts don't cause illness - News, Weather & Sports

Doctors say temperature shifts don't cause illness

Dr. Judy Theriot Dr. Judy Theriot

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - You've heard it from your parents all of your life, "zip your coat up, put your scarf on, stay warm or you're going to get sick." Doctors say there's no truth to that.

Dr. Judy Theriot and the others at UofL Pediatrics are busy. 

"A lot of kids with the flu," she said. "A lot of kids with other respiratory viruses."

So with up and down, roller coaster weather - record warm weather early in the week and then a 40-degree drop in 24 hours - you'd think they'd be expecting business to pick up as more people come down with illness. Dr. Theriot said you'd think wrong.

"It has nothing to do with how cold or hot it is or the changes or fluctuation in temperature," she said.

Dr. Theriot said you get colds and the flu because of viruses and viruses have nothing to do with the weather. They're spread through people.

"They cough in your face," she said. "You're around them in closed spaces or you touch infected objects."

So why does the myth of winter colds persist? Dr. Theriot said it's all because of our environment. We're not outside as much, so we have more chances to spread our illnesses.

"They kind of cycle around the world and people catch rhinovirus more in the wintertime but again, it might be from our habits too," she said.

Mom and dad were right about a couple of things: wash your hands and get your flu shot. Dr. Theriot said that really will keep you from getting sick no matter the weather!

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