LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Experts say you’re more likely to catch a cold during chillier weather, but not for the reasons you may think.
“It’s going to be a pretty abrupt change,” meteorologist at the National Weather Service Las Vegas Stan Czyzyk said.
“We were at a high of 79 yesterday and we’ll be in the 60s today and only in the 50s tomorrow. It’s abrupt but not too unusual for this time of year,” Czyzyk added.
With a sneak peek of winter around the corner, some people may think the colder weather makes you sick.
Dr. Christopher Choi said this is a myth.
“Cold weather doesn’t cause colds,” explained Dr. Choi. “However, viruses tend to thrive better in the cold weather and because of that we can actually catch the viral infections a little more readily in colder weather.
With more people opting to stay inside, this also increases the risk for infections.
“The number one way for the virus to infect others is through human contact, person-to-person contact,” said Dr. Choi. ” So, when you’re in a small space all together when it’s cold and then turn on the heater, this makes the air dry. Viruses thrive in dry air, so our human behavior makes it worse also in the wintertime. When the temperature drops quickly, the body hasn’t adjusted to it. There are some thoughts that our immune system may not work as well when the temperature drops so there are things we can do.”
Dr. Choi advised boosting your vitamin C and D levels, especially when there’s less sunlight during the winter, staying hydrated, and getting the proper amount of sleep to keep your immune system healthy to fight off infections.
“I think we can expect a little bit worse flu of a season this year. We’ve already seen flu cases in Vegas as early as July or August. August was the first case. Right now, in my practice, there is a huge uptick in people with viral illnesses.”
Dr. Choi said good hygiene, such as washing your hands and covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze, are good preventative measures.
He said to avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes when you are near others who are sick as well.