Health Watch — Weathering Winter: Cold Dangers

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about weathering the rest of winter. Are you worried that going out on a cold day without a coat or with damp hair will make you end up with a cold? Dr. Jane Siegel, an infectious disease expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says it’s not being cold that makes you sick. It’s contact with sick people. You can help cut your risk for a cold by washing your hands frequently and avoiding contact with sick people.

But that doesn’t mean it’s good to get yourself chilled. Hypothermia can be deadly. That’s why Dr. Paul Pepe, UT Southwestern’s chairman of emergency medicine, suggests being prepared to be out in the cold for a while whenever you leave the house in winter, even if it’s just a short errand. You never know when you might have car trouble or run into some situation that keeps you out in the cold longer than you planned.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services for infectious diseases.


February 2008

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