Medical Myth Finally Debunked

DECATUR - Historically, many medical professionals have insisted there's no proof that  "being" cold can help you "catch" a cold.  That is until now. A study, published Monday by Yale University, confirms what many people have believed for decades.  Lower body temperatures can increase your odds of getting sick.  Even though the primary cold-causing virus is active throughout the year, it becomes more aggressive when your body temperature is slightly chilled.

"Cold viruses replicate more easily in cooler temperatures," said Phil Shils, a Physician Assistant with HSHS Medical Group of Decatur.

"There's a higher population of cold viruses that could populate your nose, your oral cavities, and your mucus membranes."

The Yale study also finds cold temperatures trigger changes in your immune system.

"When people are cold, their immune response can be modulated downwards," Shils told WAND News.

Transmission of the virus also becomes frequent in the winter because more people stay indoors.

"They congregate more," said Shils.  "They sneeze.  They cough.  They're closer together."

So if you're outside, he says "It's important for people to bundle up, and avoid getting chilled."

If you're inside, stay away from sneezes and coughs.