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Being Cold Isn't Why You Get a Cold
Indiana Ag Connection - 01/13/2021

As cold and flu season ramps up -- even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic -- some people still follow the old adage of "Don't go outside without a coat; you'll catch a cold."

Libby Richards, an associate professor of nursing in Purdue University's College of Health and Human Sciences, says that is not necessarily true and explains how people are more vulnerable to catch colds and the flu during the winter.

Richards specializes in public and population health nursing, including the importance of vaccinations, flu safety and exercise.

"Many viruses, including rhinovirus -- the usual culprit in the common cold -- and influenza, remain infectious longer and replicate faster in colder temperatures. That's why these viruses spread more easily in winter. Wearing a heavy coat won't necessarily make a difference," Richards said.

Richards authored an article for The Conversation, "Will going out in the cold give you a cold?" The Conversation publishes news analysis pieces from university experts and makes the articles available to others at

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