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Myth or Truth – Will I catch a cold if I get wet in the rain

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Every time you step out in the rain, most of you experience the words of your mother or grandmother ringing in the ears, warning you of consequences if getting wet in the rain, such as catching a cold and becoming sick. You are always hesitant to get wet in the rain because you fear that you may get sick or definitely catch a cold.

Well, it is time to bust that myth and help you enjoy the rains.

Busting the myth – if you get wet in the rain you will catch a cold

A common cold or flu is caused by a number of virus strains, (close to 200), with the rhinovirus being the most common causative agent for cold and the influenza virus for flu. These viruses thrive in the cold weather. Thus, when it rains the weather gets cold and the majority of the viruses causing the common cold as well as flu are found in the air. Joining the two together must have given rise to the rumour that getting wet in the rain leads to a cold.

However, the fact is that the flu and cold viruses do not spread due to water. They spread to humans when you are in close proximity to other infected individuals. Compared being in the rain versus to staying indoors, of which the latter in greater contact with other people, thus being more susceptible to catching the virus.

Another possible reason for the myth regarding rains and catching a cold could probably be that when getting wet in the rain, individuals tend to shiver and feel chilly or have a runny nose. These symptoms are also seen when suffering from a cold, thus adding fuel to the rumour that getting wet in the rain can lead to a cold.

Water or getting wet is not connected to catching a cold. So, you can have any number of showers or swim or stand in the rain without catching a cold since cold is caused by a virus and not by water or rain. Instead of believing myths, the right preventative step would be to stay away from infected individuals or causes of getting infected by disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, handles, taps, etc and practising good hygiene habits especially while sneezing or coughing, such as covering the mouth or using a napkin.

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