More than 50 years ago, an experiment should prove that colds have something to do with cold and freezing. It failed. A low ambient and outdoor temperature does not automatically lead to a cold or an infection. Otherwise we would all be sick all the time during a cold winter.
Pathogens not cold is the cause
Another fact speaks against the connection between cold and cold. Most pathogens are quite sensitive to cold - in the Arctic or Antarctic, it is much less common for colds than temperate. A cold requires a pathogen and not just cold temperatures.
Weakened immune defense
However, colds are actually more common in the cold season than in summer. Why is that?
Viruses can spread very quickly under winter conditions for the following reasons:
- The accumulation of colds in winter is due to the increased number of germs in the rooms.
- In addition, we spend most of our time in poorly ventilated, heated rooms. The mucous membranes dry out, so pathogens have an easier time.
- If germs are already present in the body, illnesses are more likely to occur at low outside temperatures than in summer. Because of the effects of cold, the immune system of the body is slightly reduced, so that diseases can be triggered more easily by already existing pathogens.
Why are we shivering from a cold?
The sensation of hypothermia typically arises shortly before the development of fever, which precedes the other disease symptoms. When people shiver, they like to take a cold back to the cold. But it is just the other way around: A person who has caught a cold starts to freeze - so this is the result and not the cause of the disease.