Health Watch - Warmth: Cold and Colds

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 staying warm – keeping your home warm without putting your family at risk and making sure you’re prepared when you go out in the cold. But if you don’t manage to stay warm, are you in danger of catching a cold?

Dr. Jane Siegel, an infectious diseases expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says it’s contact with sick people that causes colds, not cold weather. To keep yourself from getting sick, keep your distance from others when you’re in a crowd and wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. Boost your immune system by eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep. Even though you won’t catch a cold by being cold, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to let yourself get chilled. Hypothermia can be dangerous, so that’s why you should put on a coat and avoid going out in the cold with wet hair.

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


January 2010

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