Do Changing Temperatures Make You Sick?


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When the seasons change and warm weather changes to cold many people begin to talk about the sicknesses they catch.  Are they actually sicknesses?  Does the change between warm weather to cold weather actually make someone sick?  I decided to research this topic after finding myself in the hospital with a bad case of bronchitis, wondering if the weather change here in State College had brought on the dreadful cough that started my illness.  According to eHow.com, "weather alone can't make a person ill, but changes in weather are .accompanied by a host of other changes that can give a person flu symptoms".  What this is saying is that there are common misconceptions that after standing in the cold on a chilly November day that a person may have a runny nose but that doesn't necessarily mean that they have caught a cold.  This article also made a good point, saying that "when a tropical storm hits, it can make people feel ill.  Why doesn't a hot shower do the same?"  I agree with this because if this was the case than many more people would be sick due to small changes such as taking a warm shower or being in an air conditioned house.  So why is it that people are more likely to catch the flu during the winter months?  According to eHow.com, "germs are more likely to spread in the winter, due to people being inside smaller areas more often due to the cold weather". While this fact causes many people to catch the flu or colds in the winter, the other extreme weather change, cold to hot, is due to more people being outside, which can lead to allergies flaring up.  Also agreeing with this theory is Dr. Michael Cirgliano, one of Philadelphia's Top Doctors of 2009, as he stated on phillymag.com   , "the warm temperature itself doesn't cause you to get sick, you need to come in contact with a virus in order to catch a cold".  He also said "as the temperature warms up, people are getting out of the house more, so your chances of picking something up actually decreases".  Based on this research, I have concluded that the actual change in temperatures doesn't cause illnesses, but the change in activities that a person is doing because of the change can cause them to come in contact with a virus.

Works Cited: http://www.phillymag.com/articles/ask-a-top-doc-is-it-true-the-change-in-weather-can-make-you-sick-032210/

http://www.ehow.com/about_5390019_sudden-change-weather-cause-sickness.html

2 Comments

Without looking at the science behind it and without doing any research I have always thought this to be true strictly based on my experiences. Every year right when it starts to get cold I get the same sickness it seems almost inevitable that I'll be sick for the first week it starts to get cold. I've always just thought the weather was responsible for this, but your blog sparked my interest so I decided to do a little more research. I found that indirectly weather in fact can cause illness in certain cases. Everyday Health claims that cold air can cause complications with your nose's ability to filter viruses, "Bypassing the nose's ability to filter inhaled air, combined with dry indoor air, allows the inhalation of virus-bearing mucus, which may trigger colds and lower respiratory infections." To prevent this from happening you have to keep your nose warm, a scarf or maybe a ski mask in the cold winter months up here in Happy Valley could do the trick.

Resource:
http://www.everydayhealth.com/cold-and-flu/colds-and-the-weather.aspx

It is very interesting and funny that you choose to write a blog about this. Before the last canning trip, I was very concerned that I was going to get sick because of the cold weather. My roomate explained to me that it is not the actual cold weather that gets you sick, but so many people being in smaller spaces because we spend our time inside. Also, if you are already sick, being in the cold absolutely can make it worse. Sometimes I don't believe the cold cant get you sick because I did come back from that canning weekend with strep throat. After doing more research, your argument is definitely valid.
Here are several myths about the cold weather:http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/11-health-myths-that-may-surprise-you/?_r=0

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