ATLANTA – Between sneezes and coughing fits, you’re probably wondering why you caught a cold when the temperature is near 90.
It doesn’t make sense. It’s warm. How do you catch a cold?
A cold is a cold no matter the time of year…and yes, you can catch a cold when it’s warm.
Most colds are caused by the Rhinovirus that thrives in colder weather. While it doesn’t care for summer, it’s not like it goes into hibernation.
“In the summer the Rhinovirus is still circulating, and you can still get it,” says Dr. Jesse Couk, Infectious Disease Specialist at Piedmont Healthcare.
The Rhinovirus stays cool in the summer by settling into your nose. It’s comfortable there thanks to the constant circulation of air.
The Enterovirus actually prefers the warmth of summer.
“All of these viruses can cause what we think of as cold symptoms,” says Dr. Couk. “That classic runny nose, sinus pressure, drainage in the back of the throat.”
The rules for avoiding a cold are the same in the cold and when it’s warm.
Wash your hands. Avoid touching your face.
And remember, children are far more likely to catch a cold.
“They’re the reservoir for the cold virus,” says Couk. “If you’re around children, realize you’re likely to pick it up from them.”